Miami, US, Apr 27 (EFE).- SpaceX’s “Freedom” Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) about 16 hours launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday in what was the fastest trip of its kind to date.
At 7.37 pm local time in Florida (23:37 GMT), about 40 minutes ahead of schedule, the capsule docked at the ISS in the quickest crewed Dragon trip so far.
The capsule, carrying NASA commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Robert Hines, mission specialist Jessica Watkins and the European Space Agency’s Italian mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti (Crew-4), opened its hatches to the ISS about 100 minutes later after depressurization.
There they join Americans Kayla Barron, Thomas Marshburn and Raja Chari, the German Matthias Maurer and Russian Soyuz spacecraft cosmonauts Sergey Korsakov, Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev.
But it will be a temporary cohabitation with the members of Crew-3 (Barron, Marshburn, Chari and Maurer), who will return to Earth aboard the capsule on May 4.
During their stay at the space lab, the new ISS tenants will perform more than 200 scientific and technical experiments, and could conduct two spacewalks to replace aging solar panels.
Expedition 67 will also conduct research that will help NASA prepare for stays on the Moon, and eventually on Mars.
The four will also research areas such as materials science, health technologies and plant science, 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 materials, search for solutions for degenerative eye diseases, work on how sutured wounds heal in microgravity and on the aging of the immune system.
Just days ago the Crew Dragon capsule returned from the ISS with four astronauts from the Axiom 1 (Ax-1) mission, the first entirely private astronaut crew to the space lab.
Their trip back to Earth was postponed several times due to the adverse weather conditions in the splashdown zone, forcing the delay of Crew-4’s departure. EFE