SpaceX launched its fifth crewed mission on Wednesday night. Crew-3 astronauts lifted off on a 22-hour journey to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Crew Dragon Endurance. It is the first spaceflight for NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. They are traveling aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endurance alongside veteran NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, who has been to space three times now.
🐢 The @SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying the #Crew3 astronauts has safely reached orbit! 🐉@Astro_Raja, @AstroMarshburn, Kayla Barron, and @astro_matthias are set to arrive at the @Space_Station at 7:10pm ET on Nov. 11: https://t.co/xb3hu5q83w pic.twitter.com/T2IjgFiX5o— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) November 11, 2021
Crew-3 arrived at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad-39A aboard Tesla Model X electric vehicles, one of the cars features a license plate that says "S3ND IT", pictured below. They launched atop a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket at 9:03 p.m. EST. Soon after propelling Endurance to orbit, the rocket’s first-stage booster reentered Earth’s atmosphere to land on the 'Just Read the Instructions' autonomous droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Recovering the booster enables SpaceX to reuse it on a future mission which helps reduce the cost of spaceflight. The first-stage booster that supported the Crew-3 mission is identified as B1067-2, it previously supported SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-22) mission to ISS in June 2021.
"S3ND IT" on one of the Teslas that will be transporting the Crew-3 astronauts to the launch pad. pic.twitter.com/R6Wq7NKbcF— Christian Davenport (@wapodavenport) November 10, 2021
“With Raja, Thomas, Kayla and Mattias on their way to the International Space Station just days after Crew-2’s return, we’re seeing the power of American ingenuity right before our eyes,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “NASA’s partnership with SpaceX is not only critical for cutting-edge research, but also for international collaboration. The space station brings together nations around the world for the benefit of all. Godspeed, Crew-3 – I can’t wait to see all that you accomplish," he added. SpaceX returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, NASA had not launched any astronaut from American Soil in nearly a decade until SpaceX launched the first crew in 2020 as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/P2H0r0VaES— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 11, 2021
Crew-3 on orbit pic.twitter.com/VFP1fXwlfZ— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 11, 2021
Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock autonomously to the forward port of the Space Station’s Harmony module at around 7:10 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 11. Crew-3 will work for 6 months at the orbiting laboratory. NASA TV is providing ongoing live coverage of Crew-3 astronauts' arrival to ISS through docking, hatch opening, and the welcome ceremony. You can watch it Live in the video linked below.
WATCH IT LIVE!
NASA TV SCHEDULE
Nov. 11, Thursday
7:10 p.m. – Docking of the NASA/SpaceX Crew-3 Astronauts to the International Space Station (Chari, Marshburn, Maurer, Barron)
8:45 p.m. – Hatch Opening of the Crew-3 Crew Dragon “Endurance” at the International Space Station
9:20 p.m. – Welcoming Ceremony for the Crew-3 Astronauts Aboard the International Space Station.
Featured Image Source: NASA