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11 Oct 2022
SpaceX Launches Astronauts on NASA's Crew-5 Mission
On Wednesday, SpaceX launched four astronauts to the ISS. The mission is known as Crew-5. NASA features the mission and aims to bring the group up to the International Space Station for a six-month stay in orbit.
This is the eighth human spaceflight and the fifth mission ordered by NASA and carried out by SpaceX over the last two years.
"That was a smooth ride uphill," When the craft reached orbit, NASA astronaut and Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann said, "you got three rookies that are pretty happy to be floating in space right now."
The Crew-5 mission makes it a total number of 30 people who have now flown in SpaceX's spacecraft, including those involved in both government and private missions, following the first crewed flight in May 2020.
After launching shortly after 12:00 PM ET, Crew-5 began its estimated 29-hour journey to dock with the International Space Station.
As part of its Crew Dragon program, SpaceX launched the astronauts in a reusable capsule called Endurance, accompanied by a Falcon 9 rocket. After flying Crew-3 to and from the ISS last year, Endurance is returning to space for a second time.
Crew-5 is made up of four astronauts on board, two from the U.S., one from Russia, and Japan: NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, JAXA astronaut Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina and Koichi Wakata.
By partnering with Roscosmos, NASA agreed to fly Kikina on SpaceX, making her the first Russian cosmonaut to fly on a U.S. rocket since 2002.
NASA's competitive Commercial Crew program awarded SpaceX the opportunity to develop its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX competed with Boeing's Starliner capsule, based largely on SpaceX's Crew Dragon design. As a result of costly delays, Boeing's capsule remains in development, with flights starting later than expected.
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