SpaceX is sending its first full team of astronauts to space

Pablo Tucker
November 16, 2020

The four astronauts on board will spend six months on the International Space Station.

The 50-50 forecast focused only on the local weather for the planned lift-off, not the wind or sea conditions all the way up the east coast of the United States or across the North Atlantic to Ireland.

"We are go for launch!".

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-1 mission, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Also expected to ride on the Dragon are Russian cosmonauts, whose country's Soyuz craft has been the only way to get to the space station since the U.S. Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.

The Pences left Washington Sunday afternoon after the launch was delayed by a day and SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk was sidelined thanks to the coronavirus. The Dragon capsule on top - named Resilience by its crew in light of this year's many challenges, most notably COVID-19 - was due to reach the space station late Monday and remain there until spring.

SpaceX and NASA are about to once again send astronauts into space - laying even more groundwork for what might become a regular thing. and we'll be streaming the event live, with lift-off slated for 7:27 PM ET.

SpaceX is scheduled to fly seven Dragon missions to the space station over the next 14 months, three manned, and four cargo, as the U.S. government space agency NASA increasingly turns to commercial cooperation as it expands space exploration, including programmess to explore the moon and Mars.

Musk remained upbeat. "Astronaut launch today!" he tweeted earlier Sunday, adding that he had symptoms last week of a minor cold but now felt "pretty normal". (Hopkins is also the first member of the newly created U.S. Space Force to go to space.) He was one of nine astronauts selected by NASA in 2009. The NASA mission follows on a successful demonstration of the same spacecraft that launched in May and returned two astronauts to Earth in August.

The mission represents SpaceX's second attempt to send a manned craft into space.

Hopkins, commander of the mission, has spent 166 days in space and completed multiple space walks.

During that visit to the International Space Station, Noguchi made three spacewalks. A total of 21 Black astronauts have traveled outside Earth's atmosphere.

The extra crew will help NASA to conduct more scientific research aboard the station, Hopkins said.

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