NASA-SpaceX Crew-6 mission takes off to International Space Station
SpaceX-NASA's Crew-6 mission has successfully taken off to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon capsule Endeavor launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center Florida at 11:04 am IST today. The former launch attempt, on February 27, was called off less than three minutes before liftoff due to a clogged filter in the launch system.
Why does this story matter?
- The Crew-6 mission marks the 69th expedition to the ISS. The orbiting space laboratory has been continuously occupied for over two decades now, since November 2000.
- Crew-6, as the name suggests, is the sixth astronaut mission that SpaceX is flying to the ISS for NASA.
- The mission was originally scheduled for launch on February 26 and has been delayed twice.
Crew-6 is expected to reach the ISS on March 3
Crew-6 will dock at the ISS, about 25 hours after launch, on March 3. The four-membered crew includes two NASA astronauts: Warren Hoburg (Pilot) and Stephen Bowen (Mission Commander); and mission specialists: Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, and UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi. Alneyadi will make history as the first astronaut from the UAE to be a part of a long-duration mission in space.
Crew-6 astronauts will spend up to six months in space
Crew-6 astronauts will spend up to six months in space and will look after roughly 200 science investigations. The crew will conduct several experiments ranging from heart tissue-related studies and investigations on combustion systems performed under microgravity conditions. There will be studies surrounding the effect of spaceflight on immune cells. The team will also collect microbial samples outside the ISS during spacewalks.
Check out the launch of the Crew-6 mission
Why was the launch attempt on February 27 not successful?
The launch attempt on February 27 was aborted because of a ground systems issue. The launch teams detected a problem with a substance called trimethylaluminum triethylboron or TEA-TEB, a highly combustible fluid that is used to ignite the Falcon 9 rocket's engines at liftoff. As per NASA, the problem was resolved by replacing a clogged filter and purging the system.
How many members are currently there on the ISS?
The ISS is currently occupied by seven crew members: NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann, Josh Cassada, Francisco Rubio, along with three cosmonauts, namely Anna Kikina, Sergey Prokopyev, and Dmitry Petelin, and Koichi Wakata from Japan.