Ibadan, 28 August 2023. – NASA has launched an international crew of four representing four countries into orbit following a successful launch to the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Agency’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission is NASA’s seventh commercial crew rotation mission.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon spacecraft into orbit carrying NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov for a science expedition aboard the orbital laboratory.
“Crew-7 is a shining example of the power of American ingenuity and what we can accomplish when we work together,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Aboard the station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, all while benefitting humanity on Earth. By partnering with countries worldwide, NASA is engaging the best scientific minds to enable our bold missions, and it’s clear that we can do more – and we can learn more – when we work together.”
Crew-7 will join the space station’s Expedition 69 crew of NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, and Frank Rubio, as well as UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin, and Andrey Fedyaev. The number of crew aboard the space station will rise to 11 for a short time until Crew-6 members Bowen, Hoburg, Alneyadi, and Fedyaev return to Earth a few days later.
Experiments on the ISS will consequently include collecting microbial samples from the space station’s exterior, the first study of human response to different spaceflight durations, and an investigation of the physiological aspects of astronauts’ sleep.