June 2, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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SpaceX is ready for NASA’s next space station crew relaunch

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket company was ready to try again to send NASA’s next long-term crew to the International Space Station Thursday, about 72 hours after the initial attempt was canceled due to a clogged launch system filter.

A Russian cosmonaut and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates will join two NASA astronauts on a six-month science mission that includes experiments ranging from growing human cells in space to controlling combustible materials in microgravity.

The SpaceX launch vehicle, consisting of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a self-driving Crew Dragon capsule called Endeavor, was scheduled to lift off at 12:34 a.m. EDT (0534 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. .

The four-man crew should arrive at the International Space Station (ISS), which orbits about 250 miles (420 km) above Earth, about 25 hours after liftoff early Friday morning.

Monday’s first attempt to send a crew into space was aborted less than three minutes before launch when launch crews discovered a problem with the flow of ignition fluid used to fire the rocket’s main thrusters. NASA said replacing a clogged filter and flushing the system fixed the problem.

On Wednesday, NASA said the mission was “ready” for launch with a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions.

“All systems look good for launch, though teams have been monitoring weather along the spaceship’s ascent path,” SpaceX said on Twitter.

The mission, designated Crew 6, marks the sixth long-term crew to the International Space Station (ISS) to be flown by NASA aboard SpaceX since the privately owned rocket project founded by Musk — the billionaire executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc and social media platform Twitter — in May. sending American astronauts into orbit.

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The newest crew from the International Space Station is led by Mission Commander Stephen Bowen, 59, a former US Navy submariner who spent more than 40 days in orbit as a veteran of three space shuttle flights and seven spacewalks.

NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg, 37, an engineer and air transport pilot assigned to pilot Crew 6, will make his first spaceflight.

Crew 6 also features the participation of Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, 41, who is only the second person from his country to fly into space and the first person to launch from US soil as part of a long-term space station team.

Among the four crew members 6 is Russian cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev, 42, who, like Al-Neyadi, is an engineer and aeronautical novice and has been designated a mission specialist for the team.

Fedyaev is the last astronaut to fly on a US spacecraft under a ride-sharing deal signed in July by NASA and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, despite rising tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

Crew 6 was welcomed aboard the space station by seven current residents of the International Space Station — three American NASA crew members, including Commander Nicole Onapu Mann, the first Native American woman to fly into space, along with three Russians and a cosmonaut. Japanese space.

About the length of a football field and the largest man-made object in space, the International Space Station has been operated continuously for more than two decades by a US-Russian-led consortium that includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.

The outpost was conceived in part as a project to improve relations between Washington and Moscow in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War rivalry that gave rise to the Native American in the 1950s and 1960s. Soviet space race.

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