Four astronauts, all from different countries, blasted off early Saturday from Florida aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule bound for the International Space Station, Al Jazeera reported. The crew is riding aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance capsule on the mission, dubbed Crew-7.
The mission brings astronauts from four countries to the ISS — Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, the European Space Agency’s Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov, a Russian cosmonaut.
#Crew7 has departed the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to head to Launch Complex 39A to board @SpaceX‘s Dragon for their launch to @Space_Station. More 📷: https://t.co/bgN8mnJ7MPpic.twitter.com/ykdqGUvRvd
— NASA HQ PHOTO (@nasahqphoto) August 26, 2023
The Dragon spacecraft carried by a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 3:27 am (07:27 GMT) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft will spend more than 24 hours carefully maneuvering toward the space station and is expected to dock at the space station around 8:39 a.m. ET Sunday.
Watch the video here:
— NASA (@NASA) August 26, 2023
The new members are supposed to reach the orbiting lab in their SpaceX capsule on Sunday, replacing four astronauts living up there since March. The returning members of Crew 6 consist of Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg from the US, the Russian Andrey Fedyaev, and the Emirati Sultan al-Neyadi, as per CNN.
”We’re a united team with a common mission,” NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli radioed from orbit. NASA’s Ken Bowersox, space operations mission chief added,” Boy, what a beautiful launch … and with four international crew members, really an exciting thing to see.”
”Crew-7 is a shining example of the power of both American ingenuity and what we can accomplish when we work together. Aboard the station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, all while benefitting humanity on Earth. By partnering with countries around the world, NASA is engaging the best scientific minds to enable our bold missions, and it’s clear that we can do more – and we can learn more – when we work together,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
About the Astronauts
This is Ms. Moghbeli’s first trip into space since her selection as a NASA astronaut in 2017. As mission commander, she is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. She will serve as an Expedition 69/70 flight engineer aboard the station.
Mr Mogensen from Copenhagen was selected as an ESA astronaut in 2009 and became the first Danish citizen in space after launching aboard a Soyuz for a 10-day mission to the space station in 2015. He has since served as a crew member for NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations undersea missions 17 and 19. As the pilot on Crew-7, he is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance aboard the station, he will serve as an Expedition 69 flight engineer and Expedition 70 commander.
Mr Furukawa, meanwhile, is making his second trip to space, having spent 165 days aboard the space station as part of Expeditions 28 and 29 in 2011.
Further, Mr Borisov is making his first trip to space and will serve as a mission specialist, working to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and entry phases of flight. He entered the Roscosmos Cosmonaut Corps as a test cosmonaut candidate in 2018 and will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 69/70.