SpaceX launches NASA’s Crew-3 astronaut mission

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches the Crew-3 mission on November 10, 2021.


SpaceX launched 4 astronauts to the Worldwide Area Station from Florida on Wednesday night, as the corporate retains up a gradual tempo of crewed missions.

Known as Crew-3, the mission for NASA will convey the quartet to the ISS for a six-month keep in orbit on the analysis laboratory. SpaceX launched the astronauts in its Crew Dragon capsule on high of a Falcon 9 rocket.

“It was an excellent journey – higher than we imagined,” NASA astronaut and Crew Dragon commander Raja Chari informed mission management after the launch.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule on launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart on November 09, 2021 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Photographs

The launch is SpaceX’s third operational crew launch for NASA thus far, and the primary by the newest addition to its fleet of Crew Dragon capsules, named Endurance by the Crew-3 astronauts. The Crew-3 mission brings the variety of astronauts SpaceX has launched to 18.

The mission carries three People and one German: NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, and European Area Company astronaut Matthias Maurer. That is the primary spaceflight for 3 of the crew: Chari, Barron and Maurer.

SpaceX developed its Crew Dragon spacecraft and fine-tuned its Falcon 9 rocket below NASA’s Business Crew program, which supplied the corporate with $3.1 billion to develop the system and launch six operational missions.

Business Crew is a aggressive program, and NASA additionally awarded Boeing with $4.8 billion in contracts to develop its Starliner spacecraft. Boeing’s capsule, however, remains in development due to an uncrewed flight test in December 2019 that skilled important challenges.

Crew-3 represents the third of these six missions for SpaceX, with NASA now benefiting from the funding it made within the firm’s spacecraft growth.

NASA emphasizes that, along with the U.S. having a method to ship astronauts to area, SpaceX affords the company a cost-saving option as nicely. The company expects to pay $55 million per astronaut to fly with Crew Dragon, versus $86 million per astronaut to fly on a Russian spacecraft. NASA final 12 months estimated that having two personal firms compete for contracts saved the agency between $20 billion and $30 billion in growth prices.

The SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts stand on the transporter in entrance of the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 stack contained in the SpaceX horizontal processing facility at Kennedy Area Heart in Florida on Oct. 26, 2021.


Endurance is a brand new Crew Dragon capsule debuting for this mission. Beforehand, capsules Resilience and Endeavour have flown astronauts, and SpaceX expects so as to add a fourth Crew Dragon early subsequent 12 months.

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