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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

NASA, SpaceX Crew-5 mission launches to space station

NASA, SpaceX Crew-5 mission launches to space station

SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft reached orbit after launching from Florida

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission successfully launched to the International Space Station on Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after noon Eastern Time, SpaceX announced that the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Florida.

"Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Dragon!" Elon Musk's company tweeted.

The spacecraft, Endurance, is scheduled to dock at the space station at 4:57 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Its four passengers include NASA mission commander Nicole Mann and pilot Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Waka and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who have safely reached orbit and the nosecone has been opened.

"Awesome!" Mann exclaimed as they reached orbit. "That was a smooth ride uphill. You’ve got three rookies who are pretty happy to be floating in space right now."


The launch marks the first time in 20 years that a Russian cosmonaut has rocketed from the U.S. Mann, a Marine colonel, is the first Native American woman to orbit Earth.


NASA astronaut Nicole Mann says goodbye to her husband Travis and her son Jack as she leaves ahead of the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew5 Dragon, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 5, 2022. 


This is also the first flight for Cassada – a Navy captain – and Kikina.

Members of the media work as the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule launches from Pad-39A on the Crew 5 mission carrying crew members to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Oct. 5

The mission had previously been delayed, most recently due to Hurricane Ian.

The astronauts will return to Earth in March.

(L-R) Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata arrive ahead of the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew5 Dragon, at the Kennedy Space Center in Flo


SpaceX has now launched eight crews since 2020.

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