SpaceX Dragon Endurance docked to the International Space Station and Crew-5 members enter to join the Expedition 68 crew.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, October 6, as the SpaceX Dragon Endurance docked to the complex at 5:01 p.m. EDT. At the time, the spacecraft were flying 258 miles above the west coast of Africa.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts docked autonomously to the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 4:57 p.m. EDT Thursday, October 6. NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, arrived after a one-day journey to begin a long-duration science mission on the space station. Following docking, Mann, Cassada, Wakata, and Kikina joined the Expedition 68 crew of NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, Frank Rubio, and Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and station commander Samantha Cristoforetti, as well as Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin. Credit: NASA
Following Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the crew aboard Dragon Endurance and the space station began conducting standard leak checks and pressurization between the spacecraft in preparation for hatch opening.
Following Dragon hatch opening at 6:49 p.m. EDT, Crew-5 joined the Expedition 68 crew of NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, Frank Rubio, and Jessica Watkins, Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin.
With the addition of Crew 5, the number of crew on the space station will increase to 11 people for a short time. Soon the number will drop back down to 7 when Crew-4 astronauts Hines, Lindgren, Watkins, and Cristoforetti return to Earth.