SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts prepare to dock with the ISS

A day after launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the four astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission will dock with the International Space Station on Thursday.

On board is the first Native American woman to ever go into space. Additionally, the crew includes the first Russian to be launched from the United States in more than two decades.

Russian Anna Kikina, Americans Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada and Japanese Koichi Wakata are all part of this mission to the International Space Station.

“Missions like Crew-5 are proof that we are living in a golden era of commercial space exploration. It is a new era fueled by the spirit of partnership, fueled by scientific ingenuity and inspired by the quest for new discoveries,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “During their time aboard the International Space Station, Crew-5 will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations, including studies of the impression of human organs in space and a better understanding of heart disease. While our eyes are on the sky, let’s never forget that these missions will also improve life here on Earth.

Once the quartet reach the International Space Station, the station’s population will temporarily increase to 11. In a few days, four astronauts will depart, leaving the ISS with seven on board.

As the name of the mission suggests, Wednesday’s flight marked the fifth time that a commercial spacecraft has performed a mission to the International Space Station.

Much of their assignment will be focused on health research.

“The International Space Station continues to play a critical role in helping NASA and our partners understand and maximize the unique attributes of the microgravity environment,” said Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA. NASA in Washington. “I am grateful to the many people who worked to ensure a safe launch of Crew-5 despite the recent hurricane so that the crew could complete their mission in the orbiting laboratory.”

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