NASA has officially assigned crew members for its Crew-2 mission, which aims to be the third time a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will visit the International Space Station (ISS) with astronauts on board as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
On Crew-1, tentatively scheduled for late September, NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, and Victor Glover will be joined by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. The four were picked by NASA for the mission in late March.
For Crew-2, Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut who has visited space twice before, will be joined by Megan McArthur, who has also been to space, but not the space station. The pair will be the commander and pilot, respectively.
The mission will also be JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide’s third trip to space, alongside ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, the pair will join Kimbrough and McArthur as mission specialists.
Hoshide has been aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 2008 and has been part of two ISS expeditions. Pesquet was part of two later expeditions and has spent 196 days in space total. The four astronauts have spent over a combined 521 days in space.
The news comes just days before NASA will attempt to return SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule from the ISS as part of the Demo-2 mission, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board, this coming weekend.
SpaceX made history on May 30 when it became the first group in history to launch astronauts into orbit inside a commercial spacecraft.
An official launch date for Crew-2 has not yet been announced, but according to NASA, it will likely be no sooner than spring 2021.
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