NASA and SpaceX Set to Launch Crew-6 Mission and Starlink Satellites
NASA and SpaceX are set to launch the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, February 27 at 1:45 a.m. ET from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The four-person crew, comprising of NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, arrived at the KSC Launch and Landing Facility on Tuesday, February 23.
The launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft will be broadcast live on NASA TV and the agency’s website at 10:30 pm EST on Sunday, February 26. The mission will bring with it over 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations, including studies of how materials burn in microgravity, tissue chip research on heart, brain, and cartilage functions, and an investigation collecting microbial samples from the outside of the space station.
In addition, the mission will be a first for Sultan Al-Neyadi, who will be the first astronaut of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to fly a long-duration mission. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft for the mission were rolled out at Launch Complex 39A on February 23.
NASA and SpaceX are currently assessing a possible issue with “evidence of some combustion” in one of the engine bays on the Falcon 9, which appeared during a recent launch of Starlink satellites. The Crew-6 team is looking into the potential combustion issue to make sure that the upcoming astronaut launch is safe and secure. Officials noted that the Falcon 9 rocket flying Crew-6 will be making its first launch.
The Soyuz MS-23 crew ship is also being readied for lift off at 7:24 p.m. on Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a two-day trek to the space station. At the end of this year, the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft will bring the NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and the cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin back to Earth, in addition to supplying the crew with necessities.
SpaceX will also launch a further batch of Starlink satellites on Sunday, January 29, from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, using one of its Falcon 9 rockets.
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