A SpaceX astronaut taxis to the launch site ahead of a planned liftoff this weekend.
The company announced that the Dragon Endeavor capsule is now in Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. via Twitter on Sunday (Opens in a new tab) (19 February), in a post that included two images of the spacecraft.
Endeavor is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A at 1:45 AM EST (0645 GMT) on February 27, kicking off the company’s Crew-6 mission to NASA’s International Space Station (ISS). . The launch was delayed by one day from an earlier target of February 26. You can watch the takeoff here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA.
Related: Meet the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts
Crew-6 will send four astronauts to the International Space Station for about six months. These crew members are NASA’s Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, Sultan Al Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
Al Neyadi will go down in history, becoming the first Arab astronaut ever to undertake a long-term mission aboard the orbiting laboratory. (Hazza Ali Al Mansouri, his compatriot, visited the International Space Station in 2019 but spent only eight days outside Earth.)
Endeavor is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station early in the morning of February 29, approximately 24 hours after liftoff. The capsule will join another orbiting lab’s dragon — Endurance, which leads SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission for NASA.
SpaceX’s two flights won’t overlap in orbit for long. Endeavor is scheduled to depart a few days after the Endeavor, carrying Crew-5 astronauts — NASA’s Josh Kasada and Nicole Mann, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russia’s Anna Kikina — arrived on Earth.
The Crew-6 mission will be the fourth astronaut mission to the International Space Station for Endeavor. The capsule also flew on Demo-2 in 2020, SpaceX’s first-ever crewed flight; The Second Crew in 2021; and Ax-1, the first fully private crewed mission to the orbiting laboratory, in April 2022.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 7 p.m. ET to reflect NASA’s one-day delay of the SpaceX Crew-6 launch.
Mike Wall is the author of “outside (Opens in a new tab)Book (Major Grand Publishing, 2018; illustration by Carl Tate), a book about the search for aliens. Follow him on Twitter @tweet (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @tweet (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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