Kennedy Space Center (United States) (AFP) – NASA and SpaceX will try again on Saturday to send the next crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station.
Dubbed Crew-7, the mission will be commanded by American Jasmin Moghbeli and includes Andreas Mogensen of Denmark, Satoshi Furukawa of Japan and Konstantin Borisov of Russia.
Liftoff is planned for 3:27 am (0727 GMT) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with a backup opportunity on Sunday.
The launch was pushed back to Saturday to give engineers an extra day to review a component of the Crew Dragon capsule’s environmental control and life support system, NASA said in a blog post. It will be the first space mission for both Moghbeli and Borisov.
During a press conference last month, test pilot for the Navy Moghbeli stated, “This is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember.” The 40-year-old of Iranian ancestry continued, “Looking back at our beautiful planet is one of the things I’m most excited about.”
“Everyone I’ve spoken to who has already flown has said that was a perspective that changed their lives, and also floating around in space, it seems like a lot of fun.” The first normal voyage for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to the orbital platform is scheduled to launch in 2020, and Crew-7 will be the seventh.
The other contractual private partner is Boeing, although its program is also plagued with delays and technical issues. No crew has flown in it as of yet. Borisov will be the third Russian to take to the skies in a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft mounted atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
Despite Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and Russia continue to cooperate in space, with Americans continuing to travel on Russian Soyuz rockets that take off from Kazakhstan.
The crew will spend six months on board the International Space Station (ISS) doing scientific research, including gathering samples during a spacewalk to ascertain if the station discharges germs through its life support system vents.
It is important to know if bacteria can live and multiply in space. Examining the physiological variations between sleep on Earth and sleep in space will be the focus of another investigation.
Managing all the chores is something I’m looking forward to. You are preparing for something you haven’t done before, and you really want to do it well, therefore this is a very exciting vocation,” said Borisov.
After joining the seven other ISS crew members, Crew-7 will depart for Earth a few days after Crew-6. The ISS’s initial component was launched in 1998, and a multinational crew has been living there continuously since 2001.
At least until 2030, when it will be deactivated and slam into the water, it will continue to operate. To replace it, a number of private corporations are developing commercial space stations.