SpaceX is all set to launch four more astronauts — three Americans and one Japanese — to the International Space Station on Saturday.
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and American astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Michael Hopkins. (Photo: AP)
After a successful trip in May, SpaceX is all ready to take four more astronauts to the International Space Station. Three Nasa crew and one Japanese astronaut will be launched aboard a SpaceX rocket on Saturday, bound for the ISS.
Nasa on Tuesday officially certified as safe the Crew Dragon capsule developed for regular astronaut transportation by SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk that carried two astronauts to the ISS in May and back to Earth again in August without major incident.
“I am extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft,” Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said.
The four astronauts aboard the SpaceX rocket will be launched at 7:49 pm on Saturday (November 14) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts who will be launched and taken to the ISS are American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
The SpaceX rocket will reach the ISS after about eight hours.
SpaceX has been operating space station re-supplying flights with the cargo version of the Dragon since 2012.
“For the next 15 months, we will fly seven crew and cargo Dragon missions for NASA,” SpaceX head of crewed flights Benji Reed said during a phone call Tuesday, adding, “That means that [from December] starting with Crew-1, there will be a continuous presence of SpaceX Dragons in orbit.”
The next crewed mission is expected to blast off at the end of March 2021, carrying one European, one Japanese and two American crew members.
(With AFP inputs)
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