- The Endurance Crew docked up the Crew Dragon capsule for the six-month science mission
- The Crew Dragon was launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and was flying about 260 miles above the eastern Caribbean Sea
- Crew-3 is the third operational NASA Commercial Crew flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft
NASA’s SpaceX Capsule
Astronauts involved in the six-month SpaceX Crew mission recently arrived at the International Space Station and docked up their Crew Dragon capsule with the orbiting laboratory. The Endurance crew involved in the mission includes three NASA astronauts–Raja Chari (flight commander), Tom Marshburn (mission pilot), Kayla Barron (mission specialist), and an astronaut from the European Space Agency–Matthias Maurer (mission specialist & German astronaut).
The Endurance Crew performed standard procedure checks, took inventory, conducted standard leak checks, and pressurized the space between the spacecraft. They were welcomed aboard by three space station occupants – Pyotr Dubrov, Oleg Novitskiy, and Mark Vande Hei. The Crew Dragon capsule was launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the NASA Space Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. According to NASA, the Crew Dragon vehicle and the space station were flying about 260 miles (420km) above the eastern Caribbean Sea. NASA confirmed that the Crew Dragon vehicle delivered more than 4000 pounds of hardware and research equipment.
The Endurance crew was officially designated as ‘Crew-3’ as SpaceX is the third operational NASA Commercial Crew flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Crew-3 is the third full-fledged operational crew to fly together to the space station after a two-astronaut test run. The SpaceX rocket company was formed in 2002 by Elon Musk. To date, the company has logged a total of 15 human spaceflights in 17 months. Also, it was the first company to launch the Astro-tourism–an all-civilian crew that was sent to Earth orbit without any professional astronaut.