NASAs SpaceX Crew-3 Successfully Launch And Enter Orbit On Their Way To The International Space Station
This is the moment Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts are blasted into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket beginning their journey to the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and astronaut Matthias Maurer from the European Space Agency (ESA) took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 9.03 pm yesterday on 10th November.
The astronauts are setting off on a six-month-long mission carrying out research in the lab on the International Space Station (ISS).
The research will cover several areas of interest such as materials science, plant science, and health technologies.
In the footage, the astronauts can be seen preparing for the mission and waving for the cameras as they walk towards the launch site.
They then take their positions aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 and as the countdown starts the powerful rocket fires up launching the crew out of earth’s atmosphere and into space.
The crew are expected to dock at the forward port of the ISS’ Harmony module at 7.10 pm today (11th November).
Upon their arrival at the space station, the Crew-3 astronauts will be greeted by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov – the Expedition 66 crew already on board.
Steve Stich, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager, said that the crew is very excited to reach the ISS and settle in for their mission and currently both NASA and SpaceX are doing everything possible to ensure their safe arrival at the station and preparing for their return to earth once the mission is completed.
Josef Aschbacher, ESA director-general, said that watching a rocket launch with the second ESA astronaut ever to take off onboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft was a very thrilling experience.
He added that it was fantastic to see Matthias Maurer launch alongside his NASA colleagues and continue the long-standing collaboration between nations in humanity’s exploration of space.
NASA said that the mission is part of a wider plan to “restore and maintain American leadership in human spaceflight.”
By carrying out regular long-term missions NASA is able to rotate crews and carry out extensive research and technology investigations on the ISS.
The research benefits the people back on Earth by contributing to the technology and understanding needed for future missions to Mars and the Moon, wrote NASA in the statement.
The launch marked SpaceX’s third operational crew launch for NASA and brings the number of astronauts launched by SpaceX to a total of 18.