On Monday, March 1st, NASA and SpaceX held a conference to discuss the third crewed flight and second operational mission (Crew-2) under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, that aims to make launching astronauts from American soil routine. The Crew-2 mission will launch a quartet of astronauts from NASA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the European Space Agency (ESA), to the International Space Station (ISS). “It’s been the first time ... in over 20 years that a crew from NASA, ESA and JAXA have flown together,” said NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, SpaceX Crew-2 mission commander; It will be his third voyage to space. The historic mission is scheduled to liftoff in Spring, no earlier than April 20.
During the conference, the astronauts shared they are ready to launch atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. “We are starting to get excited; we have been very busy with all of our training… just want to give a shout out to the NASA and SpaceX training teams [that] have done such a great job. We’re ready and we’re excited to fly,” NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, the pilot for SpaceX Crew-2 mission said on Monday. It will be her second trip to the orbiting laboratory.
Crew-2 astronauts will meet-up with Crew-1 astronauts at the Space Station, for the first time two crew SpaceX missions will overlap. “With this crew and the crew on board, it will be a lot of fun –you know different activities, different experiments and I’m looking forward to that,” JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide said. He will serve as Crew-2 mission specialist; It will be his third flight to ISS.
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, shared his excitement during the conference, the Crew-2 launch will be his second adventure in space. “It’s a great feeling. It reminds me of my previous flight, so I think we’ve reached that level when we’re almost ready to fly there are a few finishing touches to put on the crew,” he said. The astronauts come from different backgrounds and work for different countries they hope to inspire the next generations. “We’re gonna do our very best to represent NASA and ESA and JAXA and SpaceX in the International Space Station,” Kimbrough stated. “It’s an international crew so that in itself can show the possibilities that are out there.”
NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager Steve Stich, shared SpaceX made some changes to the Crew Dragon spacecraft –“We’re excited about this Crew Dragon which has some enhanced capabilities over the Crew 1 vehicle, We have enhanced more capability. We have enhanced prop capability making it an even safer vehicle and some crew improvements inside the cockpit,” he said. You can watch the agency’s entire conference in the video linked below.
📺 HAPPENING NOW: Experts highlight our upcoming @Commercial_Crew launch to the @Space_Station. Tune in to learn more about NASA’s @SpaceX Crew-2 mission launching humans from Florida this spring. Ask questions using #AskNASA: https://t.co/YZVIzT3b4v https://t.co/YZVIzT3b4v— NASA (@NASA) March 1, 2021
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Featured Image Source: NASA/SpaceX
About the Author
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.