SpaceX Crew-3 NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, Tom Marshburn, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer, arrived to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday evening to initiate their long-duration mission. They lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Pad-39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, November 10 at 9:03 p.m. EST. It is the first time Chari, Barron, and Maurer travel to space; Marshburn is a three-time space flyer.
Their journey to the orbiting outpost lasted approximately 22-hours. The Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft docked to ISS Harmony module at 6:32 p.m. EST on November 11, while flying 260 miles (418-kilometers) above the eastern Caribbean Sea. They arrived 38-minutes ahead of schedule. "Docking complete, welcome to the International Space Station," SpaceX mission controllers radioed to the crew in outer space. "Endurance copies, and happy to be here at the ISS," Marshburn responded.
During their voyage to the Space Station, the astronauts gave a brief tour of Dragon’s interior, as well as an incredible view of our planet out of the spacecraft’s windows, you can watch it in the 7-minute video linked in the Tweet below. Marshburn shared that all of his rookie crewmembers were adjusting to the space environment well and even had multiple meals, which can be hard to hold down food for first-time space flyers. -"...We haven't had any disasters," Marshburn said, in reference to the crew not having any digestive issues. The rookie astronauts had fun inside the capsule’s cabin experiencing microgravity for the first time. Barron introduced Crew-3's zero-gravity indicator, a sparkly plush toy turtle named 'peacock' in German language. Every SpaceX mission features a plush toy designed to indicate when the astronauts are in microgravity and also to inspire kids who watch the spaceflight broadcast. Chari jokingly said that flying Dragon was just like the simulators on Earth but that he could scratch his back easier in outer space, then he floated out of his seat and pretended to scratch his back with the screen's edges. Then he showed off Dragon's touchscreen cockpit displays and a distant view of the moon out of the capsule's hatch.
Upon docking to the Space Station and performing leak checks, Maurer opened Endurance's hatch at 8:25 p.m. EST and were welcomed by Expedition 66 crewmates at 9 p.m. They were welcomed by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of Russia during a ceremony where Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations, and Josef Aschbacher, ESA director-general participated from Earth. Crew-3 will remain on board ISS conducting science research until April 2022.
All Images Source: NASA
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.