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Updated February 2nd, 2024 at 17:48 IST

NASA & SpaceX to Launch Four Astronauts to ISS Under Crew-8 Mission on February 22

Four astronauts will embark on a six-month-long mission to the space station on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Crew-8
Members of Crew-8 during launch rehearsals. | Image:NASA
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NASA said that its next crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is targeted for launch no earlier than February 22. Four astronauts will embark on a six-month-long mission to the space station on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of the Crew-8 mission. .

Crew-8 includes Matthew Dominick as the mission commander, Michael Barratt as the pilot, Jeanette Epps as mission specialist (all three from NASA) and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, also a mission specialist.

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Aleksandr Grebenkin, Michael Barratt, Matthew Dominick, and Jeanette Epps (left to right). Image: NASA

 


Earlier on January 18, the four astronauts completed their launch day rehearsals and familiarised themselves with the Dragon spacecraft. These astronauts will replace those of Crew-7 who launched to the ISS in August 2023. This would be the ninth crewed mission of NASA which is being launched by SpaceX since it received certification from the agency in 2020 after the Demo-2 mission.

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According to NASA, the Crew-8 will fly to the ISS in the Dragon spacecraft which is being refurbished for the fifth time. The spacecraft has previously supported Demo-2, Crew-2, and Crew-6 and Axiom Space’s Axiom Mission 1 flights to and from the ISS.

"SpaceX recently completed Dragon’s propulsion system checkouts at the company’s processing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Teams soon will stack Dragon on its trunk ahead of transporting the spacecraft to SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the rocket," NASA said in an official statement.

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In addition to Dragon, SpaceX will also use a brand new Falcon 9 booster for Crew-8. With its stage testing complete, the booster will soon undergo final assembly before being rolled out to Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. 

 

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Published February 2nd, 2024 at 17:47 IST

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