SpaceX crew 5 astronauts are finally ready to fly to the International Space Station in Late September aboard SpaceX crew dragon. According to an official statement released by NASA on July 21, these astronauts will commence the journey to the International Space Station on September 29.
NASA officials stated that the launch towards the end of September would enable SpaceX to finish its hardware processing and allow the space station to be ready to receive new spacecraft. Astronauts participating in the Crew 5 science expedition mission include NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA’s Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos Cosmonaut Anna Kikina.
The Crew 5 liftoff was initially planned to arrive at the ISS in early September. The new launch schedule will take place after the Soyuz capsule undocks from the ISS and the next launch of the Soyuz. NASA official reveals that the return of Soyuz and the launch of the next Soyuz will likely occur between September 16 and September 30.
The Crew 5 astronauts will travel to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon Endurance Space Capsule, powered by the Falcon 9 rocket. The Dragon Endurance is currently passing through a refurbishment process in preparing for its second crewed space mission to the ISS.
SpaceX engineers are installing new components on the Capsule to ensure that the mission is successful without any failure. Some components installed by SpaceX include parachutes, heat shields, pod panels, and others. The refurbishment process is currently happening in the SpaceX processing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
What You Should Know About Crew 5 Astronauts
Astronauts participating in the Crew 5 science expedition mission have an awesome background that makes them qualified for this forthcoming mission. Here are some interesting background stories about crew 5 Astronauts.
NASA Astronaut Nicole Mann
NASA Astronaut Nicole Mann, the courageous formal American Test Pilot and NASA astronaut was born on 27 June 1977 in Petaluma, California, United States. She graduated from the US Naval Academy, US Naval Test Pilot School, and Stanford University.
She started her career as a F/A-18 Hornet Pilot in 2002 before joining NASA in 2013 as one of the selected eight members of NASA Astronauts Group 21. Nicole completed her training with NASA before working as a T-38 Talon Safety and Training Officer. She also contributed to the development of Orion Spacecraft, Exploration Ground Systems, and Space Launch Systems.
Nichole was assigned to Boe-CFT, the first manned test flight of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner, in August 2018. But in October 2021, Nichole Mann was officially assigned to fly to the International space station aboard SpaceX Crew 5 mission, where she will work as the Spacecraft Commander. She has participated in training ahead of this forthcoming launch coming in late September.
If all goes as planned, Mann may become the first woman to reach the moon in 2025 under the NASA Artemis space program.
Roscosmos Cosmonaut Anna Kikina
Roscosmos Cosmonaut Anna Kikina, the Rusian test cosmonaut and engineer was born on 27 August 1978 in Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia. Kikina joined Rosmoscos in 2012 and has worked for the space agency for almost a decade.
Currently, she is the female cosmonaut in active service at the Roscosmos. Her mission to the international space station was revealed in 2020 by cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. The cosmonaut is also expected to participate in a space walk during the crew 5 mission to the ISS.
As of September 2021, it was reported that Kikina would participate in Soyuz MS 22 mission which is scheduled to launch on 21 September 2022. However, it was later announced in December 2021 that Kikina would fly aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule to the international space station.
NASA astronaut will also take her formal seat in the Soyuz. Anna Kikina will create a new record to become the first Russian cosmonaut to fly to space aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon.
JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata
JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata, the Japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut was born on 1st August 1963 in Ōmiya, Saitama, Japan. Wakata developed a passion for science at an early age. His desire to take his career to the next level inspired Wakata to earn a Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1987.
In 1989, he earned his Master of Science Degree in Applied Mechanics and his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering in 2004. Wakata started his career when the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) selected him in 1992 as an astronaut candidate. Over the years, NASDA changed its name to JAXA. After the section, Wakata was trained at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
As an astronaut, Wakata has participated in four NASA Space Shuttle missions, a long-stay mission on the International Space Station, and a Russian Soyuz mission. Wakata has spent 347 days, 08 hours, and 32 minutes in space. Wakata served as the first Japanese commander during the Expedition 39 mission.
He accompanied the first humanoid robot astronaut to space during the Expedition 38/Expedition 39 long spaceflight. He is finally ready to return to space aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon on September 29 to perform more wonders in space.
NASA Astronaut Josh Aaron Cassada
NASA Astronaut Josh Aaron Cassada, the American test pilot, physicist, and NASA astronaut, was born on July 19, 1973, in San Diego, California, United States. Over the years, Cassada worked extra hard to perfect his career. In 2013, he was selected for NASA Astronaut Group 21.
After he completed his training in July 2015, Cassada was ready to support NASA in every possible ways. He has performed several tasks for NASA over the years and was later selected for the CTS-1 mission IN 2018. But due to delays, Cassada was reassigned to be part of SpaceX Crew 5 astronauts.
Before Cassada joined NASA, he worked as a test pilot for the US Navy. As a pilot, he has covered over 3,500 hours in 23 combat missions and in more than 40 aircraft. Cassada will surely use his experience while they travel to space on September 29.
Astronauts participating in the SpaceX crew 5 flight will likely fly to space no earlier than September 29. SpaceX is already refurbishing the Dragon Crew Capsule to ensure the mission is successful. Let’s wish them well as they prepare for the journey to the stars.