SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Set for April 20, First with Two Foreigners on Board

Crew-2 astronauts training in the Crew Dragon 1 photo
Photo: SpaceX
Humanity has entered the era when space exploration is no longer achieved through government-backed hardware alone. We already have a privately-made spacecraft taking people to the International Space Station, and if all goes well, a second one will be joining it soon.
It’s the SpaceX Crew Dragon that is already making the rounds to the International Space Station (ISS) and back. It already delivered the first batch of humans to the Station, Crew-1, and the spacecraft is now getting ready for the second delivery of humans into space.

NASA announced last week it targets a launch date no earlier than April 20 for the Crew-2 mission. This is the one that will go in the history books as the first flight of two foreign astronauts on a privately-built, American spacecraft: Akihiko Hoshide from Japan and Thomas Pesquet from the European Union. They will be joined by NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur.

The mission will take off from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the help of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Once on the ISS, the Crew-2 mission will overlap for a short time with the members of the Crew-1, who are scheduled to return in late April or early May. The Crew-2 astronauts are scheduled to stay on the Station until fall 2021.

Even if the second crewed flight of the Commercial Crew Program is still some months away, NASA already announced a while back the name of the astronauts who will depart on the next one, the Crew-3 mission.

As for the SpaceX-made spacecraft, it already has three flights to the ISS already. It first flew empty, and then with people on board, when it autonomously docked with the ISS. The most recent flight (Crew-1), with a Dragon called Resilience, was officially the first one considered operational by the space agency.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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