SpaceX’s Freedom Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) about 16 hours after launch on Wednesday. From the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral (Florida, USA), in the fastest flight of its kind to date.
At 7:37 pm local time in Florida (11:37 pm GMT), the capsule docked in the space laboratory, Approximately 16 hours after its successful launch from Cape Canaveral on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, And about 40 minutes before the scheduled start time.
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The capsule, carrying three astronauts from NASA and one from the European Space Agency (ESA), They opened their doors about 100 minutes later after a period of low pressure. The ship orbited the Earth dozens of times before docking at one of the station’s docks, so SpaceX has already delivered 26 astronauts on seven manned missions to the International Space Station since this project was launched in May 2020.
Its crew, Commander Jill Lindgren, pilot Robert Haynes and specialist Jessica Watkins of NASA, and Italian Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, will remain at the International Space Station for about six months. There they will coincide with Americans Kayla Baron, Thomas Marshburne and Raja Shari, Russian cosmonauts Sergey Korsakov, Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev and German Matthias Maurer.
But it will be a temporary coexistence with the members of the so-called Crew-3 (Sharry, Marshburn, Baron and Maurer), who will return to Earth aboard the Freedom Dragon capsule, which is scheduled to depart on May 4. During their stay in the space lab, the new tenants of the International Space Station will conduct more than 200 science and technology experiments, and can conduct two spacewalks to replace the orbiting station’s old solar panels.
New members of Mission 67 to the International Space Station will conduct research that will help NASA prepare for longer periods on the Moon, and eventually on Mars. The four will conduct research in areas such as materials science, health technologies, and plant sciences, with the goal of preparing for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit and benefiting life on Earth.
Among the planned experiments are studies of organic matter, the search for solutions to degenerative eye diseases, work on how wounds sewed in microgravity and on the aging of the immune system heal.
This was SpaceX’s fifth human spaceflight for NASA from US soil to the International Space Station since Atlantis made the final flight of the shuttle era in 2011.
But just days ago, the Dragon capsule, also from SpaceX, returned from the International Space Station with four astronauts from the Axiom 1 (Ax-1) mission, the first entirely private craft to reach the space laboratory. Their flight to Earth had to be postponed on several occasions due to the adverse weather conditions prevailing in the spray area, which delayed Crew-4’s departure to the space laboratory.
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