SpaceX Will Take Four Astronauts To The ISS In 2021


© SpaceX A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley inside a Crew Dragon spaceship in the Demo-2 mission, May 30, 2020.

He shared breathtaking pictures of a sunrise, as seen from 400 km above the Earth.

© NASA The members of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station, from left: NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

All four Crew-2 astronauts are space veterans who have been to the ISS multiple times.

The photos were captured at the exact moment of sun rising through the Earth's horizon.

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NASA said: "McArthur operated the shuttle's robotic arm over the course of the 12 days and 21 hours she spent in space, capturing the telescope and moving crew members during the five spacewalks needed to fix and upgrade it".

Putting four astronauts on SpaceX's spring 2021 mission, dubbed Crew-2, will bring the quantity of individuals staffing the ISS to seven, permitting "NASA to effectively double the amount of science that can be conducted in space", the office said Tuesday. Following the undocking, the spacecraft is targetted to splashdown on Sunday, August 2 at 2:42 PM EDT (on Monday, August 3 at 12:12 AM IST).

Pesquet is the first European astronaut to fly to the International Space Station on a Crew Dragon vehicle. He first launched aboard space shuttle Endeavour for a visit to the station in 2008 and again aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for Expedition 49/50 in 2016.

Space missions will become a family affair with the launch of McArthur who is married to Demo-2 astronauts Behnken. He has spent a total of 189 days in space, and performed six spacewalks. In 2009, she was a member of the Space Shuttle Atlantis crew that flew into orbit and serviced the Hubble Space Telescope. It aims to understand challenges faced during long space durations and find solutions for overcoming them. It was the spaceship's first crewed flight - the first time humans had ever flown in a commercial spacecraft.

The mission, carried out aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, was the second of three mission to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO) to the ISS. He has spent 140 days 17 hours 26 minutes in space.