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SpaceX Preparing Third Launch of Astronauts to Space Station

byVictor Tangermann
Mar 2
SpaceX

For the first time, two Crew Dragon capsules will be docked to the ISS at the same time.

Crew-2

SpaceX is getting ready to send the next batch of astronauts to the International Space Station on April 20, Space.com reports.

The launch, dubbed Crew-2, could soon mark the third time the space company has launched astronauts into orbit on board its Crew Dragon spacecraft — and the second fully-crewed launch since the Crew-1 mission in November 2020.

“Everybody is on track and ready,” SpaceX director of crew mission management Benji Reed said during a Monday press briefing.

Suit Up

NASA selected crew members for the Crew-2 mission back in July. The crew includes Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut who has been to space twice, and Megan McArthur, who has yet to visit the space station. The pair will be the commander and pilot, respectively.

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Japanese space agency JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will round out the crew of four.

In addition to the crew, the Crew Dragon capsule will also be delivering over 440 pounds of cargo to the station, including science and technology experiments.

Double Dragon

For a short period, there will be two Crew Dragon capsules docked to the space station. The spacecraft that delivered Crew-1 is still parked at the ISS, and it will be relocated to a different port to make room for Crew-2.

It’s an exciting next step for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon platform. With two successful crewed launches already under its belt, the spacecraft could soon become a mainstay of the United States’ connection to the aging space station.

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READ MORE: SpaceX is ready to launch more astronauts with Crew-2 next month [Space.com]

More on Crew Dragon: Bone Cancer Survivor Will Get Free Trip to Space This Year


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