NASA already announced a new batch of astronauts which will be traveling to International Space Station as part of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon 2. This is going to be the successor mission of the “Launch America” event of 2020 when 4 European Astronauts launch for the ISS in 2021 onboard the Crew Dragon Demo-2.
The astronauts are a mix of astronauts from NASA and the space agency’s international partners. They include Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, who will also serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will also be accompanying them.
— JAXAきぼうフライトディレクタ / JAXA Flight Directors (@JAXA_JFLIGHT) July 29, 2020
SpaceX and NASA have a bigger mission ahead in 2021
Around 4 Crew 2 astronauts will be out on the mission in 2021 for a duration of 6 months and they will be sharing the International Space Station with around 3 other astronauts who will be on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
There will 7 members onboard which is going to be a drastic increase over the number of current occupants. The space station already has six sleeping quarters, two bathrooms, a gym, and a 360-degree view bay window and can accommodate around 10 members at one time. A minimum of three crew members has to be constantly present on the ISS to ensure it is working.
Space missions will become a family affair with the launch of McArthur who is married to Demo-2 astronauts Behnken. She has gone to space twice but has made only one trip to the space station in 2004 and was part of the last Hubble telescope servicing mission in 2009 where she spent 12 days and 21 hours in space.
Have you heard the news?✨
Follow them as they prepare for their upcoming mission🚀 pic.twitter.com/9QBGQ00WhF
— NASA Astronauts (@NASA_Astronauts) July 28, 2020
SpaceX’s Dragon is the world’s first commercial spacecraft to transport humans and can carry up to seven passengers. Its diameters are 8 by 4 meters, and it is able to carry a maximum load of 6,000 kilograms.
ESA astronaut @thom_astro is the first European to be assigned to fly on a @SpaceX #CrewDragon to the @Space_Station. He will fly on its second crewed operational flight, Crew-2, scheduled for launch in early 2021, with a mission name #Alpha 👉 https://t.co/9Sjq15ej4h #USCV2 pic.twitter.com/diC4h8YOoL
— ESA (@esa) July 28, 2020
Currently, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley are on the ISS as part of the first experimental crew mission, SpaceX Demo-2. They are set to return to Earth on 2 August.
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