SpaceX is ready to launch the third crewed flight and second operational mission (Crew-2) to the orbiting laboratory under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, that aims to make launching astronauts from American soil routine. The Crew-2 mission will launch an international crew: NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who will be Crew-2 Commander; NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur, she will serve as pilot; European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, he will be a mission specialist, alongside Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. The quartet will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft that is scheduled to liftoff on April 22nd atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex-39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket will go vertical on the launch pad soon, ahead of a routine pre-flight static-fire test scheduled for Sunday.
The astronauts of NASA's @SpaceX Crew-2 mission waved goodbye as they departed from Ellington Field in Houston.— NASA's Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) April 16, 2021
They're on their way to @NASAKennedy and are set to arrive around 12:45 p.m. ET. They'll be live on NASA TV upon landing: https://t.co/0tGwqaAWLt. pic.twitter.com/rqaatF38hD
Today, April 16, SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts arrived to the Kennedy Space Center on a Gulfstream jet aircraft after departing from Ellington Field Base near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Crew-2 happily greeted SpaceX and NASA officials, as well as answered a few questions by reporters from around the world in their native languages. “We're excited to fly on these flight-proven vehicles,” Kimbrough said during the live broadcast of their arrival, “Certainly I think all [launches] until we get several years under our belt, should be considered test flights. [...] We're very confident in the team ... that's been working on the vehicles; we don't have any issues with that,” he told the media. “We got to fly by the pad and see our rocket getting ready to go, and it's just an amazing feeling," McArthur said. “There's nothing like it when you look out the window and see a spaceship getting prepared and realize that you're going to be riding on it in a few days.”
"We got to fly by the pad and see our rocket getting ready to go, and that's just an amazing feeling... and really, there's nothing like it." — @Astro_Megan, pilot, NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission pic.twitter.com/D9gX0Ewzeg— NASA (@NASA) April 16, 2021
The visit to Kennedy Space Center was a first for Pesquet, who has only traveled to the Space Station in 2016 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan. “I think we're living in the golden age of human spaceflight,” Pesquet said, “There's never been that many ways to go into space. It looks like everybody, every country has a project or a spacecraft that's capable of flying, or will be capable of flying soon.” You can watch the astronauts’ arrival to the facility and interview in the video below.
Watch Crew-2's Arrival!
Featured Image Source: NASA
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.