April 24, 2024

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International Space Station launch: A new American-Russian crew heads to the space station

International Space Station launch: A new American-Russian crew heads to the space station
  • Written by Ali Abbas Ahmadi and Lipika Pelham
  • BBC News

Video explanation,

Watch: A SpaceX rocket launches with an American-Russian crew towards the International Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying three American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut lifted off from Florida, bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

Crew-8's mission will be in space for six months. Space is one of the few areas where the United States and Russia continue to cooperate closely despite the war in Ukraine.

The three men and one woman are in a capsule that Elon Musk's SpaceX company has used in space four times before.

One would involve growing artificial replicas of human organs in a low-gravity environment, something that is not possible on Earth.

This will be one of more than 200 science experiments that will be performed during the mission, which is scheduled to end in mid-August, according to NASA's International Space Station program manager, Joel Montalbano.

The four-member crew lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 22:53 local time (03:53 GMT on Monday).

The first launch attempt on Saturday was canceled due to strong winds.

A live NASA webcast on Sunday showed the 70-meter (229-foot) rocket lifting off into the night sky, surrounded by clouds of steam as it rose from the ground.

The Falcon rocket propelled the spacecraft it was carrying – named Endeavor – into orbit nine minutes after liftoff.

Footage from the cabin showed the four crew members strapped into the spacecraft and wearing black and white flight suits.

Reuters news agency quoted the flight commander, Matthew Dominic, as saying during a radio call to the ground control center: “What an amazing trip into orbit.”

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The crew heads to the International Space Station in the Dragon Endeavor capsule

Sir Dominic and Russian Alexander Grebenkin were making their first flight into space. Other crew members on board were astronaut Janet Epps and doctor Michael Barratt – the pilot of Crew-8 – who is making his third visit to the International Space Station.

The four crew members are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Tuesday, docking with the orbiting laboratory about 250 miles (420 kilometers) above Earth.

NASA said they will join a crew of seven currently on the space station.

The International Space Station – roughly the length of a football field and the largest man-made object in space, according to Reuters news agency – is a rare area of ​​international cooperation between various world governments. It is continuously maintained by a US-Russian consortium that includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.

Alexander Grebenkin is the latest astronaut to fly on a US spacecraft under an agreement signed by NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos in 2022.

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