Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

SpaceX, NASA successfully launch manned Crew-8 mission to International Space Station

By 37ci3 Mar4,2024

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX and NASA successfully launched the joint Crew-8 mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station on Sunday.

NASA and SpaceX have jointly sent a crew of four to the ISS aboard the Dragon spacecraft, marking SpaceX’s eighth crewed orbit mission to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Sunday’s launch was the third attempt after being washed out twice earlier due to bad weather.

Engineers determined that a small crack in the hatch seal would not cause enough of a problem to abort the launch, and the mission lifted off at 10:53 p.m., and mission crew members on the ground cheered as the first stage booster separated and the Dragon continued. Into space by 11 p.m

The NASA astronauts are Commander Matthew Dominik, pilot Michael Barratt, mission specialist Jeanette Epps, and Russian Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, who also serves as mission specialist. This is the first mission to the ISS for all except Barratt, who is on his third visit.

The Dragon spacecraft was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket, which SpaceX describes as a “reusable, two-stage rocket,” making it the first reusable rocket of its kind. After leaving Dragon, it will land at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The crew, which is set to return in the fall, will stay on the ISS for six months. A few days ago, administrators announced that they had found a small air leak in the space station.

“It doesn’t affect Crew-8, but I didn’t want anyone to be surprised,” ISS Program Manager Joel Montalbano said at the Crew-8 mission briefing. He said managers did not believe the leak would affect the safety of the crew, but that “teams are looking at it.”

While aboard the ISS, often referred to as a “floating laboratory,” the crew will conduct more than 200 scientific experiments as part of a long-term mission to prepare humanity for long-term stays in space.

Some of the experiments include taking stem cells into space to study their effects on degenerative diseases, as well as investigating the cellular effects of microgravity and ultraviolet radiation on plants, hoping that plants will become an increasingly important part of nutrition during such long stays. .

The crew will also experiment with pressure cuffs on the legs of astronauts experiencing weightlessness to see if it alleviates health problems, including fluid displacement, in space. Because there is no gravity on the ISS, body fluids tend to drift toward the head, which can cause health problems related to eye and head pressure—something astronauts are all too familiar with.

Spirulina, which is often used in sweets on Earth, is also sent into space on the Crew-8 mission. Astronauts are investigating whether microalgae can help remove CO₂ from the air by providing astronauts with both food and oxygen.

It’s been a busy year for SpaceX, which has completed nearly 100 launches over the past year.

Asked about the seemingly routine nature of the increasingly tight launch schedule, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson warned not to let his guard down.

“Flying into space is difficult. Flying into space is risky. … You never want to think it’s that routine,” he said. “Every time we launch, it’s white-knuckle time, and especially if people are at the peak.”

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By 37ci3

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