An international crew of four astronauts are heading to the International Space Station after they were lifted off aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, named Resilience, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission, the first NASA-certified commercial human spacecraft system in history, was launched on Sunday at 7:27 p.m. EST from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi are aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The spacecraft will dock autonomously to the forward port of the station’s Harmony module about 11 p.m. today.
The crew members will join the Expedition 64 crew of Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA.
Rubins, Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi will participate in a live crew news conference from orbit at 9:55 a.m. Thursday, November 19, on NASA TV and the agency’s website.
The crew will conduct science and maintenance during a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory before returning in spring 2021. It is scheduled to be the longest human space mission launched from the United States.
Crew Dragon also is delivering more than 500 pounds of cargo, new science hardware and experiments inside.
This is the first of six crewed missions NASA and SpaceX will fly as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
The flight follows NASA’s certification last week of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon human spaceflight system for crew missions to and from the ISS.
This is SpaceX’s second launch with humans aboard. On May 30, 2020, Dragon had conducted second demonstration flight test to and from the space station with humans.
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