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SpaceX Crew-8 of NASA Takes Off for the International Space Station

Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida successfully launched an international crew of four into orbit after reaching the International Space Station at 10:53 p.m. EST on Sunday. The eighth commercial crew rotation trip that NASA has conducted with SpaceX to the space station is called Crew-8.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, were launched into orbit on a science mission aboard the orbital laboratory by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

“Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on another successful launch to the International Space Station! On this eighth crew rotation mission, we are once again showing the strength of our commercial partnerships and American ingenuity that will propel us further in the cosmos,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Aboard the station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to help fuel this new era of space exploration and benefit humanity here on Earth.”

From its mission control centre in Hawthorne, California, SpaceX will keep an eye on a number of automated spacecraft manoeuvres during Dragon’s journey. From the Mission Control Centre at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, teams from the agency will keep an eye on space station activities during the journey. NASA’s commentary-only audio coverage lasts until the beginning of the transmission of the rendezvous and docking.

About three in the morning on Tuesday, March 5, the Dragon spacecraft Endeavour will autonomously dock to the forward port of the station’s Harmony module. Starting at one in the morning, NASA will stream live coverage of the rendezvous, docking, and hatch opening on NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and the organization’s website. Once the crew arrives at the orbital station, NASA will also keep airing the event. Discover how to watch NASA TV on a range of devices, such as social media.

Along with NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Konstantin Borisov, Oleg Kononenko, and Nikolai Chubb, Crew-8 will be joining the space station’s Expedition 70 crew. The space station will have 11 crew members for a brief period of time until Moghbeli, Mogensen, Furukawa, and Borisov—members of Crew 7—return to Earth a few days later.

In order to assist civilization on Earth and prepare for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit, Crew-8 will carry out new scientific research. In order to better understand neurodegenerative diseases, experiments are being conducted on brain organoids, the effects of UV radiation and microgravity on plant growth, and changes in bodily fluids during spaceflight. These represent only a small portion of the over 200 scientific experiments and technological demonstrations that will occur throughout their mission.

NASA intends to optimise its utilisation of the space station through this mission. For over 23 years, astronauts have resided and worked there, testing technologies, conducting scientific research, and honing the skills necessary to operate future commercial destinations in low Earth orbit and explore further from Earth. People on Earth benefit from research done aboard the space station, and NASA’s Artemis missions set the path for long-term visits to the Moon and beyond in the future.

As the commander of Crew-8, Matthew Dominick is making his first space journey since being chosen as an astronaut in 2017. He will be a mission specialist on board the space station for Expedition 70/71.

This is Crew-8 pilot Michael Barratt’s third trip to the space station. During Expeditions 19/20 in 2009, Barratt worked as a flight engineer while the station conducted two spacewalks and increased the number of crew members from three to six. On STS-133 in 2011, he was a passenger on the space shuttle Discovery, which was carrying the fourth Express Logistics Carrier and the Permanent Multipurpose Module. Barratt has logged 212 days in space overall. He will be a mission specialist on Expedition 70/71.

During her first spaceflight, Crew-8, Jeanette Epps is a mission specialist who works with the pilot and commander to monitor the spacecraft during the turbulent launch and re-entry stages of flight. In 2009, Epps was chosen by NASA to become an astronaut. She will work on Expeditions 70 and 71 as a flight engineer.

Alexander Grebenkin is a cosmonaut of Roscosmos, and this is his maiden mission. He will work on Expeditions 70 and 71 as a flight engineer.

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