SpaceX is preparing to launch astronauts for the third time to the International Space Station, in less than a year, after being given the green light by NASA, a week before the planned next Thursday trip, and SpaceX will launch four astronauts into orbit on Next week, take the Dragon capsule.
According to RT, the mission, dubbed Crew-2, is scheduled to be launched from Cape Canaveral Station on Thursday, April 22nd, which coincides with Earth Day, which is SpaceX’s second operational flight for the Crew Dragon. And the second time that this particular capsule has flown with a crew.
The Crew Dragon demonstrated its worth during an unmanned test flight, the Demo-1, in March 2019.
At that time, the capsule docked at the International Space Station (ISS) for six days, after which it returned to Earth.
More than a year and a half later, Crew Dragon blasted into space with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.
The Demo-2 mission was considered a resounding success, paving the way for SpaceX to begin regularly flying crews to the International Space Station.
Since its space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russias Soyuz program to send astronauts to the International Space Station.
SpaceX’s first operational flight, Crew-1, took off on November 16, 2020, after several delays.
The crew included NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
SpaceX will now launch the four astronauts from Expedition 65. These are NASA astronauts Shane Kimbro, Megan MacArthur and Akihiko Hoscheid from JAXA, and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency.
Weather permitting, take-off will take place at 6.11 am. The launch can be viewed live online, on the NASA and SpaceX websites.
The Dragon capsule will be launched on top of a reusable “Falcon 9” rocket from the historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.