OAN’s Roy Francis
8:33 AM – Saturday, August 26, 2023
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon spacecraft into orbit carrying an international crew of astronauts.
The spacecraft launched off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:27 AM local time. The crew is now headed to the International Space Station (ISS) to relieve the crew that has been onboard since March.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that the crew will be conducting experiments to prepare for future mission to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
“Aboard station,” Nelson said. “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.”
According to NASA, the experiments that will be conducted onboard the ISS will include “the collection of microbial samples from the exterior of the space station, the first study of human response to different spaceflight durations, and an investigation of the physiological aspects of astronauts’ sleep.”
The new mission will enable NASA to maximize the use of the ISS, and pave the way for further exploration into space.
The launch also featured a new 160-foot Falcon 9 first stage booster that supported the spacecraft in its launch. Following stage separation, the booster touched back down at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, showcasing SpaceX’s ability to maximize and reuse its launch vehicles.
The crew headed to the ISS includes NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Roscomos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov.
“Crew-7 is a shining example of the power of both American ingenuity and what we can accomplish when we work together,” Nelson said. “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.”
The launch is the eighth launch that has been carried out by SpaceX in conjunction with NASA, and it also marks SpaceX’s 11th human spaceflight.
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