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International Crew Prepares for Launch to ISS Aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon
Crew 8 arrive at KSC for final preparations before their 6 month mission to ISS.
International Crew Prepares for Launch to ISS Aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon
by Clarence Oxford
Space Coast FL (SPX) Feb 26, 2024

Three NASA astronauts and one Roscosmos cosmonaut have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center to prepare for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Scheduled for launch on Friday, March 1, at 12:04 a.m. EST (0504 UTC), the mission underscores the continued reliance on and success of partnerships between national space agencies and private sector pioneers like SpaceX.

The crew, led by NASA's commander Matthew Dominick, includes pilot Michael Barrat, mission specialist Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin. Their journey to the ISS will be aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket. This mission not only highlights the ongoing collaboration between NASA and Roscosmos but also marks a significant step in commercial spaceflight, facilitated by SpaceX's innovative technology.

Upon separating from the Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon Endeavour will autonomously navigate to the ISS, planning to dock at the Harmony module's space-facing port at approximately 7 a.m. EST, assuming an on-time liftoff. The autonomy of the Crew Dragon in docking procedures represents a leap forward in spaceflight technology, showcasing the advancements that have been made in making space access more reliable and efficient.

The International Space Station, a beacon of international cooperation, continues to serve as a unique laboratory for scientific research in microgravity. Studies conducted aboard the ISS span various disciplines, including biology, human biology, physics, and astronomy, contributing invaluable insights that can benefit humanity and pave the way for future exploration of deep space.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour for this mission, embodies the spirit of exploration and the continuing evolution of space vehicles. Designed for efficiency and safety, the spacecraft's ability to dock autonomously with the ISS is a testament to the strides being made in space technology. This mission further solidifies SpaceX's role in shaping the future of commercial spaceflight, underlining the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing space exploration.

The Falcon 9 rocket, renowned for its reliability and the revolutionary approach of reusability, plays a critical role in reducing the costs of space access. Its design and performance have been pivotal in making space more accessible, thereby supporting a wide range of missions, including cargo resupply to the ISS, satellite deployments, and manned spaceflights.

The Kennedy Space Center, with its historic significance in manned spaceflights, continues to be at the forefront of America's space exploration endeavors. The arrival of the crew at NASA's Launch and Landing Facility, aboard a Gulfstream jet from Johnson Space Center in Houston, marks the beginning of the final preparations for their journey to the ISS. This mission not only reinforces the Kennedy Space Center's role in current space exploration efforts but also highlights the seamless integration of modern spaceflight operations with the legacy of past achievements.

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Russia launches supply rocket to ISS
Moscow (AFP) Feb 15, 2024
Russia on Thursday launched a supply rocket to the International Space Station, one of the rare Russia-US projects kept alive since Russia's offensive against Ukraine. A Soyuz-2 rocket carrying the Progress MS-26 cargo ship was launched at the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, Russia's space agency said on its Telegram channel, showing a video of the lift-off. The rocket was due to arrive at the ISS on Saturday, the agency added. The mission is to take fuel, food and scientific equipment ... read more

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