NASA and SpaceX Set to Launch Crew-6 Mission to ISS on February 27
NASA and SpaceX are preparing to launch the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on February 27 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This will be the fourth flight of the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, following the successful Demo-2 demonstration flight in 2020, Crew-2 flight in 2021 and the private Axiom Mission-1 flights that followed. The four-person crew consists of NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
The mission was originally planned to launch on Sunday, February 26, but NASA and SpaceX have delayed the launch of Crew-6 to Monday, February 27, at 1:45 a.m. ET, giving SpaceX additional time to complete work on the vehicle.
In the meantime, a Soyuz MS-23 crew ship launched on Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and will take a two-day orbital trek before docking to the Poisk module at 8:01 p.m. on Saturday. This Soyuz spacecraft will arrive unoccupied, but will deliver crew provisions to replenish the seven orbital residents, as well as return Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio back to Earth later this year.
Beginning Sunday, Feb. 26, at 10 p.m., NASA TV and the NASA website will provide live coverage of the launch. EST, and teams will conduct a dress rehearsal for the launch on Friday, February 24.
The Crew-6 astronauts will spend up to six months at the space station where they will conduct over 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare humans for longer-term flights beyond Earth orbit, as well as experiments to benefit life on Earth. This will be the fourth spaceflight for mission commander Stephen Bowen and the first spaceflight for the remaining three astronauts.
Finally, the teams have spotted a potential issue in a Falcon 9 that recently launched a batch of SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites to orbit. There was evidence of combustion in one of that rocket's engine bays, and the Crew-6 team is looking at that other rocket now to make sure that the possible combustion issue isn't something to worry about on the upcoming astronaut launch.
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