On July 25, NASA and SpaceX announced a new launch date for the Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Originally scheduled for August 15, the mission will now lift off on August 17, 6:56 a.m. EDT, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX shared that Crew-7 is ready for liftoff, they "completed their Dragon test drive and training at pad 39A this past weekend ahead of their launch to the Space Station."
Crew-7 will be carrying a crew of four astronauts from different space agencies. NASA's Jasmin Moghbeli, who has been training since 2017 as part of the agency's 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class, will serve as the spacecraft commander for the mission, making her first-ever trip to the ISS. Joining her will be ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, an experienced veteran in space missions, who will be the pilot for Crew-7. Also aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule named "Endurance" will be JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, who previously worked at the Space Station and will serve as a mission specialist. The fourth member of the crew is Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, who will join the mission as a mission specialist, marking his first-ever spaceflight. Borisov has been training since 2018 for this momentous journey.
The Crew-7 mission holds significance as it will be the seventh operational astronaut mission that SpaceX conducts for NASA, and it will be the company's 11th crewed flight overall. SpaceX has been a crucial partner in space missions, having conducted missions to the ISS and beyond, including the private Inspiration4 flight to Earth orbit in September 2021 and the Axiom Ax-1 and Ax-2 missions to the station in April 2022 and May 2023, respectively.
Dragon Endurance will rendezvous with the ISS approximately 20 hours after launch, docking around 2:45 a.m. EDT on August 18. This will mark the beginning of the departure process for SpaceX's Crew-6 mission, which reached the ISS on March 3 and is scheduled to return to Earth on August 25. You can watch the missions live in the video linked below.
The cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos will continue despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Both space agencies have upheld the barter deal agreement established in December 2021, enabling joint crews' launches to the ISS. As part of this agreement, American astronauts will continue to travel aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, while Russian cosmonauts will be launched on American-made spacecraft. The integrated crews have been the norm throughout the history of the International Space Station Program, ensuring the continued safe operations of the space station and the safety of its crew.
With the date set, preparations are in full swing for Crew-7's historic mission to the ISS. The astronauts, each with their own unique expertise, will work together seamlessly to conduct important scientific research and contribute to the ongoing advancement of space exploration. “Crew-7 will conduct new scientific research to prepare for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit and benefit humanity on Earth. Experiments will include the collection of microbial samples from the exterior of the space station, the first study of human response to different spaceflight durations, and an investigation of the physiological aspects of astronauts' sleep. These are just a few of the more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations that will take place during their mission,” shared agency representatives.
WATCH IT LIVE!
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Featured Image Source: SpaceX
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.