SpaceX will launch its third crewed launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 22nd. It will be the second operational mission under NASA's Commercial Crew Program, Crew-2. A Falcon 9 rocket will liftoff from NASA’s Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying an international crew of four astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The astronauts represent three agencies, NASA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the European Space Agency (ESA). The astronauts who will launch aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon next month are NASA astronauts – Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet. “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. Get to know the crew! Below is a brief introduction for every crewmember, as well as a video of their most recent interview.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, Crew-2 Commander
NASA Astronaut Kimbrough was born in Killeen, Texas, and raised in Atlanta. He is a retired U.S. Army colonel and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and a Master’s Degree in Operations Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004. The upcoming Crew-2 mission will be Kimbrough’s third voyage to space and his second long-duration stay at the orbiting laboratory. He has performed six spacewalks and spent a total 189 days at ISS. Kimbrough’s first spaceflight was in 2008, he rode NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour to visit the Space Station during the STS-126 mission. His second flight was In 2016, he launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for Expedition 49/50.
NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur, Crew-2 Pilot
NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now considers California her home. She holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in oceanography from the University of California, San Diego. The Crew-2 mission will be her second trip to space, however it will be her first time working at the Space Station. McArthur became an astronaut in 2000, she launched on Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2009 during STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, in 2009. She spent a total of 12 days and 21 hours in space working on the telescope using the Shuttle’s robotic arm. During the upcoming Crew-2 mission she will serve as SpaceX Crew Dragon Pilot.
JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, Crew-2 Mission Specialist
JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide was born in Tokyo, Japan. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University, and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Houston, Cullen College of Engineering. The Crew-2 mission will be Hoshide’s third spaceflight, he will serve as mission specialist. His first trip to space was in 2008, during STS-124 mission aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. He also launched aboard a Russian Soyuz in 2012 for a 124-day visit to the orbiting laboratory.
ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, Crew-2 Mission Specialist
ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet was born in Rouen, France. He has a Master’s Degree in Spacecraft design and control from the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in Toulouse, France. Pesquet has only been to space once; In 2016 he launched aboard the Soyuz spacecraft to ISS as part of Expeditions 50 and 51, spending a total of 196 days working in microgravity. Crew-2 will be his second trip to space, he will serve as mission specialist.
Crew-2 Crewmembers Discuss Their Upcoming Mission
All Images Source: NASA / SpaceX