Science & Technology

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Mission Docks to International Space Station

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts are secured in their seats inside the Dragon spacecraft Endeavour. From left are Andrey Fedyaev, Roscosmos cosmonaut and mission specialist; NASA astronaut Warren Hoburg, pilot; NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, spacecraft commander; and Sultan Alneyadi, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut and mission specialist. At the time of the photograph, the Crew-6 astronauts were ready to launch to the International Space Station aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour on a SpaceX Falcon 9. Crew-6 is the sixth crew rotation mission with SpaceX to the station, and the seventh flight of Dragon with people as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Credit: SpaceX

NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, as the SpaceX Dragon, named Endeavour, docked to the complex at 1:40 a.m. EST while the station was 260 statute miles over the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Somalia. Crew-6 astronauts launched aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour on a SpaceX Falcon 9 at 12:34 a.m. EST on Thursday from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Docking was delayed slightly as mission teams completed troubleshooting a faulty docking hook sensor on Dragon. The NASA and SpaceX teams verified that all of the docking hooks were in the proper configuration, and SpaceX developed a software override for the faulty sensor that allowed the docking process to successfully continue.

Following Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the astronauts aboard the Dragon and the space station will begin conducting standard leak checks and pressurization between the spacecraft in preparation for hatch opening scheduled for 3:18 a.m. The Harmony module, also known as Node 2, is a pressurized module on the International Space Station that was launched in 2007. Its primary purpose is to connect various other modules on the ISS together, providing additional berthing ports for visiting spacecraft and allowing for the installation of additional scientific equipment and modules.

Crew-6 will join the Expedition 68 crew of NASA astronauts Frank Rubio, Nicole Mann, and Josh Cassada, as well as Koichi Wakata of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin, and Anna Kikina. For a short time, the number of crew on the space station will increase to 11 people until Crew-5 departs.

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