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SpaceX: Astronauts from 4 countries Successfully Connects to ISS

SpaceX-astronaut

On Sunday, August 27, 2023, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule named “Endurance” successfully rendezvoused and docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The capsule carried a multinational crew of four astronauts, symbolizing global collaboration in space exploration. 

Leading the mission as the commander was Jasmin Moghbeli from NASA. Alongside her were European Space Agency (ESA) representative Andreas Mogensen from Denmark, Satoshi Furukawa from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov from Roscosmos. This venture marked SpaceX’s most internationally diverse mission, reinforcing the spirit of unity among spacefaring nations.

The capsule made first contact with the ISS at 9:16 a.m. ET and the hatches opened at 10:58 a.m. ET. The four astronauts took off in the Crew Dragon spaceship on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 3:27 a.m. ET on Saturday. They spent the last day free-flying around inside the 13-foot-wide capsule, which slowly moved towards the space station. 

The Crew-7 mission

The Crew-7 mission is the eighth flight operated by NASA and SpaceX as part of the agency’s commercial crew program. The Crew-7 astronauts will join the seven astronauts already on the International Space Station (ISS) and will spend about five days taking over operations from the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts. The new team will then bid farewell to the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts, who will return home aboard their spacecraft, the Crew Dragon Endeavour, in the coming days.

During their stay on the ISS, which is expected to last about 180 days, the Crew-7 astronauts will conduct a variety of experiments, including investigating the potential risk of dispersion of bacteria and fungi from human-led space missions. The team will analyze whether the microorganisms can be expelled from the space station’s vents and spewed into the vacuum of space.

Experiments on the Crew-7 Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) is also conducting an experiment to investigate how sleeping in the microgravity environment differs from Earth. The experiment will analyze astronauts’ brain waves while they doze off to see how the lack of gravity affects their sleep patterns.

Another experiment will look at the formation of biofilms in wastewater on the space station. Biofilms are a type of bacteria that can grow in water and can be difficult to remove. This experiment could help scientists find better ways to recycle water for drinking and hygiene while in space.

Satoshi Furukawa, one of the crew members on the Crew-7 mission, said during a news conference this month that he looks forward to conducting scientific research on the space station. He is particularly interested in research that could aid the development of new medicine and projects that could help inform how humans can one day explore the moon.

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