OAN Roy Francis
9:23 AM PT – Thursday, March 2, 2023
SpaceX and NASA have launched a new mission to the international Space Station, which will last six months.
The mission includes the two NASA astronauts, Woody Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, Russian astronaut Andrey Fedyaev, and the United Arab Emirates’ Sultan Al Neyadi.
The Crew-6’s Dragon capsule, named Endeavour, launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket right after midnight on Wednesday night. The launch marked the second attempt to get the mission into space.
The first attempt was cancelled on Monday after engineers had detected an issue with the triethylaluminum triethylboron (TEA-TEB), the highly combustible fluid used to ignite the engines at liftoff.
After a review of the data and systems, it was found that a clogged ground filter had reduced the flow of the TEA-TEB to the catch tank. SpaceX’s director of crew mission management, Benji Reed, said that the rocket would “probably have taken off without a hitch despite the clogged filter” but he wanted to make sure everything was okay before launching.
“That’s not how we want to launch people,” Reed said during a news conference. “We want people to know for sure that it’s going to be okay.”
The capsule carrying the astronauts will spend around one day in orbit around the earth. Then the capsule will connect with the International Space Station (ISS) right after 1:00 a.m. EST on Friday morning.
This mission marks all the astronaut’s first mission, except for Bowen who is the flight’s commander. The Crew-6’s astronauts will briefly overlap the Crew-5 members, who have been on the ISS since October. The astronauts of the Crew-5 will return to earth five days after Endeavour arrives to the station.
The Crew-6 astronauts will be alongside NASA’s Frank Rubio, and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin on the ISS. The three personnel that are already on the ISS arrived in September aboard a Russian spacecraft.
The purpose of the Crew-6 mission is for the astronauts to oversee more than 200 science and technology projects. These projects include how certain substances burn in microgravity, and studying microbial samples collected from the outside of the space station.
They will also host two other missions, the first being the Boeing Crew Flight Test in April. This will be the first mission under a Boeing-NASA partnership, which will be carrying Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams. The second will be a privately funded spaceflight called the Axiom Mission 2, from the Texas-Based space company Axiom, which will carry commander Peggy Whitson and three paying customers.
This mission will be the seventh flight that SpaceX has conducted on behalf of NASA since 2020. This is part of the continuing public-private effort to fully staff the orbiting laboratory.