Miami, US, Aug 24 (EFE).- NASA’s Crew 7 mission is ready to launch early morning on Friday from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) to carry out experiments and relieve Crew 6.
If all goes according to plan, the launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A is scheduled for 3:50 am local time on 25 August.
The Endurance spacecraft will dock with the station at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. If necessary, a backup launch opportunity will be available at 03:27 am on Saturday 26 August.
As the name suggests, it will be the seventh manned mission to the ISS by NASA and SpaceX, and the third carried by the Dragon capsule “Endurance”, owned by Elon Musk’s private aerospace company SpaceX, which previously flew NASA’s Crew-3 and Crew-5 missions to and from the space station.
The mission will be led by astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, selected by NASA in 2017 and who will be making her first space flight, and Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency (ESA), the first Dane to travel in space.
The specialists will be Satoshi Furukawa from the Japanese space agency JAXA and Konstantin Borisov from the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who will also be traveling for the first time.
According to SpaceX’s website, “during their time on the orbiting laboratory, the crew will conduct science and technology demonstrations to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit humanity on Earth”.
On Friday, after launch and separation from the capsule, the Falcon 9 first stage will touch down at Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
Five days after Crew 7 arrives at the ISS, Crew 6 will undock, allowing enough time for a smooth transition between the two crews, according to NASA.
In 2020, multi-million dollar contracts with SpaceX and Boeing will allow NASA to resume astronaut trips to the ISS from US soil, which have been suspended since 2011, when the space shuttle program ended after the last shuttle, Atlantis, retired.
After a review of the ship on Monday, NASA’s associate director for human missions, Ken Bowersox, pointed out that the 23rd year of human presence on the “busy space station” would soon be completed.
The ISS is a $150 billion project made up of 15 permanent modules.
Orbiting the Earth at a distance of 400 kilometers (248 miles) and at a speed of more than 27,000 kilometers per hour, the laboratory hosts international astronauts who carry out scientific experiments and contribute to medical and other research. EFE