SpaceX’s new manned mission under contract with NASA to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) is about to happen, according to a statement released by the agency.
Most likely, the Crew-6 mission will take off in mid-February. On this occasion, a Falcon 9 rocket will carry the Endeavor capsule with a crew of four, who will spend approximately six months living and working in the orbital laboratory.
Crew-6 will be SpaceX’s 10th manned flight and will feature a pair of NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Woody Hoburg, as well as United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. For all but Bowen, who has been to the ISS three times, this will be a first mission to the orbiting science complex.
Bowen and Hoburg were slated to serve on the Crew-6 mission in December 2021. Fedyaev joined the crew in July 2022, as part of a seat-swap agreement between NASA and Roscosmos. The same month, Al Neyadi also joined the crew list.
Al Neyadi’s participation is based on a contract signed in 2021 between NASA and the company Axiom Space. According to the document, an astronaut from the US agency would fly a Soyuz mission to the ISS in exchange for a seat for Axiom on a US commercial launch. As the company struck a deal in April 2022 with the United Arab Emirates’ Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, Al Neyadi was selected.
The Crew-6 astronauts are expected to spend a few days with the crew of the Crew-5 mission, which is scheduled to return to Earth in February. Members of Crew-6 will remain on the ISS until the Crew-7 mission arrives in the second half of this year.
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