In the early hours of Friday( March 3, 2023) a SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully boarded the International Space Station (ISS), with a 4 person crew of astronauts from Russia, The US and UAE onboard for a six month science mission.
The Endeavour spacecraft that launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida in America. The coupling was confirmed as the ISS and capsule flew in tandem at 17,500 miles per hour (28,164 kph) some 250 miles (240 km) above Earth across the coast of East Africa, according to a live NASA webcast of the rendezvous.
The four-member team is tasked with carrying out more than 200 experiments and technological demonstrations as a part of their stay on the station, the experiments include research on human cell growth in space to possible measures in controlling combustible materials in microgravity. Additionally working on solutions for future long-duration human expeditions as a part of NASA’s Artemis program.
Their duties also include performing necessary maintenance and repairs aboard the station, and aiding in the preparation for the future arrival and departure of other fellow astronauts and cargo.
Refered in offical records as Crew 6, the mission is the sixth long-duration ISS team that SpaceX has flown as part of their joint venture with NASA, ever since the first mission in May 2020.
The crew members are lead by veteran astronaut and onetime U.S. Navy submarine officer Stephen Bowen(59), having an experience of seven space walks and over 40 combined days in space at three space missions. Making his first spaceflight, fellow American astronaut, 37 year old Warren “Woody” Hoburg, is an electrical engineer, computer science expert and commercial aviator designated.
The other two members included UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev(42). Almeyadi is the only second person from his country to venture into space, and the first from his country to set of from U.S. soil as part of a long-duration space station team.
Alneyadi like America’s Hoburg is an engineer and spaceflight rookie appointed as a mission specialist for the crew.
The crew started their operations by conducting multiple standard leak checks to pressurize the passageway between the capsule and ISS before they coulf open the hatch to enter into the interior of the space station.
The Crew 6 team was welcomed by the seven current ISS occupants – three hailing from NASA including commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, the first Native American woman to fly to space, and three Russian and one Japanese astronaut. The earlier personell on board is scheduled to return this month.