The crew members assigned to NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission are in orbit following their launch to the International Space Station noon EDT Wednesday, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew will serve as the agency’s fifth commercial crew rotation mission with SpaceX aboard the orbital laboratory.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Dragon Endurance spacecraft into orbit carrying NASA astronauts Nicole Mann as mission commander, and Josh Cassada, pilot. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, also aboard the Dragon, will serve as mission specialists for their science expedition in microgravity aboard the space station.
“Missions like Crew-5 are proof we are living through a golden era of commercial space exploration. It’s a new era powered by the spirit of partnership, fueled by scientific ingenuity, and inspired by the quest for new discoveries,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “During their stay aboard the International Space Station, Crew-5 will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations, including studies on printing human organs in space and better understanding heart disease. While our eyes are focused upward on the heavens, let us never forget these missions will also better life here on Earth.”