SpaceX & NASA Crew Launch to ISS: Mission Details

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SpaceX and NASA prepared for a third launch attempt Sunday to send a four-member crew to the International Space Station, aiming to replace five of the lab’s seven long-duration crew members.

Crew 8, consisting of Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, Jeanette Epps, and cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, planned to board their Crew Dragon spacecraft at 8 p.m. EST, targeting liftoff from Kennedy Space Center at 10:53 p.m. EST.

Originally scheduled for Friday, the launch was delayed due to adverse weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean. Another attempt on Saturday was also scrubbed due to high winds. However, Sunday’s forecast offered a 75 percent chance of favorable weather conditions.

SpaceX & NASA Crew Launch to ISS Mission Details
SpaceX & NASA Crew Launch to ISS Mission Details (Credit: NASA)

Assuming a successful launch, the Crew Dragon “Endeavour” is expected to rendezvous with the space station early Tuesday and autonomously dock at the lab’s forward port around 3 a.m.

Upon arrival, Crew 8 will be greeted by Soyuz crewmates Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub, and NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara. Crew 7 members Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov, who launched last August, are wrapping up their 199-day mission and will return to Earth on March 11.

Following their departure, Russia plans to send a new Soyuz ferry ship to the space station, along with NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson, who will replace O’Hara.

Dyson will join the crew of Soyuz MS-25/71S for launch on March 21, with Novitskiy, Vasilevskaya, and O’Hara returning to Earth on April 2 using the Soyuz MS-24/70S spacecraft. Dyson is scheduled to return to Earth next September aboard Soyuz MS-25/71S, joining Kononenko and Chub, completing their mission.

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