Four astronauts from four different nations and space agencies worldwide have launched on a SpaceX rocket towards the International Space Station for a six-month mission.
The team comprises the most diverse NASA crew to date, with members from the U.S., Denmark, Japan, and Russia. They are NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency, Satoshi Furukawa from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov.
According to NASA, the astronauts will conduct various experiments, including studying the potential dispersion of bacteria and fungi from human-led space missions. They'll explore if microorganisms can be expelled through the space station's vents into the vacuum of space.
"Crew-7 is a shining example of the power of both American ingenuity and what we can accomplish when we work together," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. "Aboard station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, all while benefitting humanity on Earth. By partnering with countries around the world, NASA is engaging the best scientific minds to enable our bold missions, and it’s clear that we can do more – and we can learn more – when we work together."
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance capsule, dubbed Crew-7, from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at around 3 a.m. Saturday and is expected to arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Sunday and take over from the four astronauts who have been residing there since March.
To date, SpaceX has successfully launched eight crews for NASA.
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