Saturday April 24, 2021 at 5:17 pm – The spacecraft docked with the International Space Station on Saturday. This is the third manned flight in a year for NASA and SpaceX, the Elon Musk company.
Last Friday at 5:49 am, Crew Dragon Endeavor flew towards the International Space Station with four astronauts on board. Weather conditions had prevented the team from taking off the previous day.
An accomplishment consisting of several times in the beginning
About 24 hours later, around 5 am on a Saturday morning, a Crew-2 team consisting of astronauts Thomas Pesquet from France, Shane Kembra and Megan MacArthur from the United States, as well as Akihiko Hoshid from Japan, began docking with the ship. International Space Station.
From left to right: Astronauts Thomas Pesquet, Megan MacArthur, Shane Kembrah, and Akihiko Hoshid. Image source: NASA
By achieving this feat, Team Crew-2 also achieved several “first things” at the same time:
- The first reuse of the Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft and the Falcon 9 missile in a crew mission (Endeavor flew during the Demo-2 mission, and the Falcon 9 missile also launched the Crew-1 mission into orbit),
- The first commercial crew mission involving an astronaut from the European Space Agency (Thomas Pesquet),
- The first commercial crew mission involving two international partners (European Space Agency and Japan Space Agency [JAXA]),
- For the first time, two commercial crew spacecraft docked at the same time (Crew-1’s Resilience spacecraft still exists until next week),
- The first commercial crew transfer between astronauts on the space station (the Astronauts of Crew 1 and Crew 2 will spend approximately five days together at the station before Crew 1 returns to Earth), and
- For the first time, two JAXA astronauts will be simultaneously on the International Space Station (Soichi Noguchi flew aboard the Crew-1 spacecraft and will return next week).
The purpose of the assignment
Over the next six months, the four astronauts will conduct more than a hundred scientific experiments. One of them will be used to monitor the effects of weightlessness on lab-created miniature brains. This research should, in particular, help prepare astronauts who will be in space for long periods of time.
Based on information from Scott Sutherland, Meteorologist and Science Editor at The Weather Network.