The SpaceX Crew-2 mission you are already heading to the International Space Station. It took off at 11:49 a.m. (Peninsular Spanish time) and will dock at around 11:10 a.m. on Saturday the 24th. A few minutes later, and after having carried out all the necessary checks, the 4 astronauts that make up the mission will pass to become part of the ISS crew.
The Estimated duration of the mission is 180 days in which the astronauts will have to carry out all kinds of scientific experiments. As NASA itself has indicated, they will study how microgravity affects human tissues and even its possible application in lung conditions or loss of muscle mass during aging.
Crew-2 is the second of NASA’s contracted missions within the Commercial Crrew Program And it comes just a few months after the route was officially inaugurated on November 16. That day kicked off a new era of space travel where private companies – such as SpaceX – play an essential role by making all their technology available to the Space Agency.
Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Dragon! pic.twitter.com/g6Oi8qwU2Y
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 23, 2021
The set used for the occasion is made up of a Dragon capsule powered by a Falcon 9 rocket, both designed, developed and manufactured by the company led by Elon Musk. This pair has become the backbone of SpaceX’s travels, with the Falcon 9 being one of the most reliable reusable rockets on the market, as proven by its different launches with Starlink satellites. The rocket’s first stage has returned to the surface and successfully landed on a SpaceX ship at 11:58.
For the first time since this type of capsule has been used. Four astronauts are on board the Dragon. Commanding the mission is the American R. Shane Kimborough along with the pilot K. Megan McArthur.
The crew is completed by the Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and the Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, representing the European Space Agency. All four crew members have experience in spaceflight.
The initial mission plan had stipulated the launch for noon on Thursday, April 22, but on Wednesday morning they announced that it was postponed due to forecasts reporting the presence of winds around the launch pad. An adverse meteorology that finally postponed the start day of the journey until today Friday.
This Crew-2 will be relieved by a Crew-3 and another Crew-4 that will take place soon. The first one has planned to fly next fall and the second in the year 2022, although there is still no closed date. For their part, the members of the Crew-1 mission will return to Earth on the (Spanish) afternoon of April 28.
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