In an impressive display of international collaboration, SpaceX achieved yet another milestone today as it launched an international crew of astronauts toward the International Space Station (ISS) in the early hours of August 26. The successful launch took place at 3:27 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Crew-7 is go for launch pic.twitter.com/9U8d0fQSQo— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 26, 2023
The multinational crew, representing four countries, is currently on its way to the ISS. The diverse crew includes NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov. Their mission aboard the newly launched SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, named Crew Dragon 'Endurance', is focused on a science expedition aboard the orbital laboratory.
Liftoff of Crew-7! pic.twitter.com/fvMpbvDPjU— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 26, 2023
Shortly after liftoff, approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the launch, the Falcon 9's first stage shut down and separated from the upper-stage. This marked a significant step as the brand-new booster performed a precise boost-back engine burn for its return journey to Earth. Impressively, about 7.5 minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9's first stage executed a flawless landing at SpaceX's Landing Zone-1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, adjacent to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. This booster can now be reused on a future SpaceX mission
Falcon 9’s first stage booster has landed at Landing Zone 1 pic.twitter.com/m2nUvV2TUg— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 26, 2023
The Crew Dragon 'Endurance' spacecraft is set to autonomously dock at the space-facing port of the ISS's Harmony module at 8:39 a.m. on Sunday, August 27. This pivotal moment will be covered live by NASA Television, which will also broadcast the ISS welcoming ceremony at 11:30 a.m. EDT. You can watch it Live in the video linked at the end of this story.
The Crew-7 mission holds special significance as it is NASA's seventh commercial crew rotation mission. “Crew-7 is a shining example of the power of both American ingenuity and what we can accomplish when we work together,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Aboard station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, all while benefiting humanity on Earth. By partnering with countries around the world, NASA is engaging the best scientific minds to enable our bold missions, and it’s clear that we can do more – and we can learn more – when we work together.”
After second stage separation, @SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft with the four members of #Crew7 aboard is in orbit and set to arrive at the @Space_Station on Sun., Aug. 27. Commander @AstroJaws thanked all those who prepared the crew and spacecraft for flight: pic.twitter.com/pHgZD0GA6T— NASA (@NASA) August 26, 2023
Once on board ISS, the Crew-7 team will join the ongoing Expedition 69 crew members. Notably, the space station's occupancy will briefly increase to 11 individuals as Crew-6 members make their way back to Earth in the following days. This collaborative effort highlights the shared commitment to space exploration and scientific progress.
The Crew-7 mission holds great promise for advancing our understanding of space and its impact on human physiology. Among the experiments planned are the collection of microbial samples from the exterior of the Space Station, an investigation into the effects of various spaceflight durations on the human body, and a study on the physiological aspects of astronauts' sleep. These initiatives are just a glimpse into the extensive range of scientific research to be conducted during their mission. “The International Space Station is an incredible science and technology platform that requires people from all around the world to maintain and maximize its benefits to people on Earth,” said Ken Bowersox, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It’s great seeing Crew-7 launch with four crew members representing four countries who will live and work on humanity’s home in space as we continue the nearly 23 years of a continuous human presence aboard the microgravity laboratory.”
WATCH IT LIVE!
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Featured Images Source: SpaceX & 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.