A multicultural crew about to take off for the space station
Crew-6 will replace the four members of Crew-5, who arrived in October 2022, who will return to Earth aboard their own SpaceX ship.
A multicultural crew made up of two American astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut and an Emirati astronaut is due to take off overnight from Florida on board a SpaceX rocket to reach the Station international space.
Liftoff is scheduled for Kennedy Space Center at 1:45 a.m. local time Monday. The weather is forecast to be 95% favourable. The Dragon capsule aboard which the four passengers are traveling is due to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) after a journey of about a day.
Sultan al -Neyadi, 41, will become the fourth astronaut from an Arab country in history, the second Emirati but the first from his country to spend six months in space.
We are physically, mentally and technically ready, he told reporters when he arrived at the space center on Tuesday. It's a great honor to be here and even a privilege, he added.
The mission also includes a Russian astronaut, Andrei Fedyaev, just as tensions between Washington and Moscow are at their highest, a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It was already planned before the Moscow offensive for Russians to travel with SpaceX and Americans with Russian Soyuz ships, an exchange program maintained despite extreme diplomatic tensions. The ISS is one of the rare fields of cooperation still in progress between the two countries.
NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev are scheduled to take off on Monday, February 27.
Asked about the impact of these political tensions on the crew, the mission commander, the American Stephen Bowen, replied on Tuesday that these issues were rarely brought up in conversations. and that he and his teammates remained focused on the mission.
The crew, dubbed Crew-6, is the sixth to visit the ISS during the #x27;a regular rotation mission provided by SpaceX. The capsule carrying them, named Endeavour, has already flown three times in space.
NASA hires the services of this American company to send its astronauts approximately every six months to the flying laboratory. They conduct scientific experiments there and maintain the station, which has been permanently manned for more than 22 years.
Crew-6 will replace the four members of Crew-5 (two Americans, a Russian and a Japanese), who arrived in October 2022 and who will return to Earth aboard their own SpaceX spacecraft after a few days of handover.
On board the station are also three other passengers (two Russians and an American), who arrived on board a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The most recent of these devices suffered a leak last December, which made it dangerous to return to Earth for the three passengers who were to take place there. The Russian space agency Roscomos therefore sent a rescue vessel, which docked safely with the ISS on Saturday.