On Thursday, March 2nd, SpaceX launched the sixth operational mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, known as Crew-6, to the International Space Station (ISS). A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 12:34 a.m. ET from Launch Pad-39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, aboard Crew Dragon Endeavour. The cosmonaut launched aboard an American spacecraft as part of a diplomatic barter agreement between Russia’s Roscosmos Space Agency and United States’ NASA. The launch comes after a scrubbed attempt due to a ground system issue that was rapidly fixed by SpaceX teams. The astronauts are now en route to the Space Station, their voyage is expected to be at least 24-hours long.
Liftoff of Crew-6! pic.twitter.com/BucEYeIIFe— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 2, 2023
The brand new Falcon 9 booster that supported the Crew-6 mission is identified as B1078-1. Soon after propelling the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft to orbit the booster returned from space in order to be reused on a future mission. B1078-1 performed a propulsive landing on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ droneship approximately 9-minutes after liftoff. It marked SpaceX’s 175th landing of an orbital-class rocket.
Falcon 9’s first stage booster has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship pic.twitter.com/aTsxNo2cJN— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 2, 2023
Crew Dragon Endeavour is scheduled to autonomously dock with the Space Station by Friday, March 3rd at approximately 1:17 a.m. ET. NASA TV will broadcast the mission Live via YouTube, video linked below. The docking coverage will initiate tonight at 11:15 p.m. ET. UPDATE: Voyage is ahead of schedule, Dragon will now dock at 12:43 a.m ET on March 3. “Congratulations to the NASA and SpaceX teams for another history-making mission to the International Space Station! The Commercial Crew Program is proof American ingenuity and leadership in space benefits all of humanity – through groundbreaking science, innovative technology, and newfound partnership,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Crew-6 will be busy aboard the International Space Station, conducting over 200 experiments that will help us to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, as well as improve life here on Earth. We look forward to seeing all that they accomplish.”
“For more than two decades, humans have continuously lived and worked aboard the International Space Station,” said Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate in Washington. “Commercial Crew Program missions like Crew-6 are essential so we can continue to maximize the important research possible only in the space station’s unique microgravity environment. Congratulations to the NASA and SpaceX teams on a successful launch! I am looking forward to seeing the crew safely aboard the station.”
VIDEO: NASA TV Live Broadcast
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Featured Images Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.