Science

SpaceX’s Crew-3 is ready for a Halloween weekend launch

The crew of SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission. (Image credit: NASA)

SpaceX’s new manned mission to space is ready for launch!

Crew-3, the space company’s fifth manned flight into space (and fourth to the International Space Station) is preparing to take four astronauts to the orbiting lab aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on Halloween weekend. , on Saturday, October 30.

After its original launch date of October 23, liftoff was previously delayed to October 31 before being pushed a day earlier. The mission is scheduled to launch the crew onto a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 2:43 a.m. EDT (0643 GMT) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Wow, what an exciting time for us,” said Kathy Leuders, associate administrator for the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, during a press conference on Wednesday (October 6). “This is such an exciting time in our International Space Station ecosystem because we are preparing to continue using the space station for another 10 years.”

In photos: SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station

Crew-3 will send NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, as well as European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer to the orbiting laboratory for a six-month mission.

This mission follows Inspiration4, an all-civilian crewed mission that took off on September 15 for an orbital journey aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Prior to this flight, SpaceX’s Crew-1 and Crew-2 manned missions successfully lifted crews to the space station after Demo-2, the company’s first crewed test flight that carried NASA astronauts. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the station in 2020.

With Crew-3, “the four crew members coming up are going to be doing even more science,” Leuders said, adding that they will continue to test “our exploration risks and pushing the limits of technology and continuing to establish our key international partner relationships. “.

To do that science, the crew will fly with a group of science equipment. “Every time we fly an incremental mission, we have about 300 different investigations that we do on board,” Joel Montalbano, program manager for NASA’s International Space Station, told Space.com during the briefing. “So this expedition will be no different.” He added that this flight “will have experiments that will intersect with science and the use that we do, as well as with technological development.”

He specified that there will be experiments on board that will include human research, as well as rodent research and other experimentation similar to what has been done previously at the station.

“We are just beginning the process of what we call our readiness reviews,” added Montalbano. “So we will have a station readiness review, a commercial crew readiness review, and then the flight readiness review, where we will review the full status of the payloads that are scheduled to fly.”

But, while the astronauts at launch will spend the vast majority of their six months on the station working hard, they will have some room for holiday fun. The crew will arrive just in time for Halloween and will also be living in the lab over winter break.

“We try to take care of the crew members throughout the vacation,” Montalbano said. “So in every vehicle that shows up around a holiday, we try to have some surprises or, in some cases, some pre-planned gifts for crew members. And we will do the same for next Halloween.”

Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@ or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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