NASA and SpaceX send crew to International Space Station

NASA and SpaceX on Saturday sent four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule, after a first attempt canceled the day before.

The Dragon capsule, carried by a Falcon 9 rocket, lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 26, 2023. © Joel Kowsky / AP

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The Dragon capsule, carried by a Falcon 9 rocket, lifted off at 3:27 am (7:27 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the mission team dubbed "Crew-7" on board, in front of about 10,000 people. The mission was commanded by American Jasmin Moghbeli and included Denmark's Andreas Mogensen, Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and Russia's Konstantin Borissov. "We took off," NASA announced on X (ex-Twitter), and cheers could then be heard from the control room when the capsule detached from the rocket.

We have liftoff! Endurance ascends to space. Next stop for #Crew7: the @Space_Station.

— NASA (@NASA) August 26, 2023


We may be from four different countries, but we are a united team with a common mission. " said Jasmin Moghbeli after the separation. Liftoff was originally scheduled for Friday, but was shifted to examine a component of the Dragon capsule.

« Looking at our planet from above »

This is the first trip to space for Konstantin Borissov and Jasmin Moghbeli. "What I'm most looking forward to is looking at our planet from above," the Iranian-born MIT graduate told a news conference last month. "Everyone I've spoken to who has ever flown has said it is a life-changing point of view." Flying in space "is something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember," the U.S. Navy test pilot also said.

Konstantin Borissov said he was looking forward to "this adventure" after a "very intense training". Konstantin Borissov will be the third Russian to travel aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule, powered by a Falcon 9 rocket. Despite heightened diplomatic tensions between Washington and Moscow since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, collaboration between the US and Russian space agencies continues in the ISS – one of the few topics of cooperation still ongoing between the two countries.

Seventh mission operated by SpaceX

This is the seventh regular crew rotation mission operated by SpaceX, billionaire Elon Musk's company, for NASA. NASA is paying SpaceX for the service, which has reduced dependence on Russia to take crews to the International Space Station since the U.S. Space Shuttle halted flights in 2011.

NASA has also contracted with Boeing to develop a second American means of transport to the ISS. But Boeing's program has suffered countless delays, and the first manned test flight is now not scheduled until after March 2024.


With AFP)

NASA chooses SpaceX for its next manned mission to the Moon

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