Running more than 30 minutes ahead of schedule, the SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts have safely docked to the International Space Station (ISS), less than 24 hours after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday.
NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer opened the hatch of their Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance and participated in a welcome ceremony with their new Expedition 66 crewmates, the US space agency said in a statement.
The newest crew to the microgravity laboratory is the agency’s third crew rotation mission with SpaceX and will remain on board until April 2022 as part of Expedition 66.
Aboard Dragon with the crew will be more than 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, including over 150 pounds of which they will use to conduct experiments aboard the space station. Here is some of the research riding with them into low-Earth orbit.
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In addition to the experiments flying with them aboard Dragon, the Crew-3 astronauts are also scheduled to conduct many additional experiments and technology demonstrations during their mission.
Crew-3 is crucial for the testing of new upgrades to the space station’s Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), including the newly installed toilet, the Brine Processing Assembly, carbon dioxide scrubbers, and two new hydrogen sensors slated to arrive aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon in late December.