A spacecraft carrying the sixth crewed mission of Elon Musk’s SpaceX has arrived at the International Space Station after a successful launch from the Kennedy Space Center, with a 29-hour trek. An extended video shared by Elon Musk via his Twitter page shows how the SpaceX Dragon docked.
The sixth crewed mission was carried out on Wednesday at noon ET from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Even though there are growing tensions on the ground due to the invasion of Ukraine, NASA, SpaceX, and its government partners from all around the world, for the first time, Russia is working together on the mission known as Crew-5.
The crew consists of cosmonaut Anna Kikina of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada of NASA, astronaut Koichi Wakata of JAXA, and astronaut Nicole Mann of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. They were greeted by Samantha Cristoforetti, a European Space Agency astronaut who had previously flown on a SpaceX trip to the ISS and who made history by becoming the first female space station commander.
A day was spent by the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a daylong, meticulous ascent to the space station. The completely autonomous spacecraft utilized its tiny internal engines to maintain alignment as it slid into its docking slot and reached the ISS. At 5:01 p.m. ET, it made its first direct physical contact with the ISS.
Elon Musk Sixth Crewed Mission
This is the sixth crewed flight that Elon Musk, the controversial tech tycoon, and his privately held business SpaceX have completed for NASA. The initiative is the result of a $2.6 billion agreement that NASA and SpaceX agreed to nearly ten years ago as part of the space agency’s efforts to turn over all ISS transportation to the private sector so that NASA could concentrate on exploring further into the solar system.
Boeing, a major player in the aerospace industry, also agreed to a deal of a similar nature, albeit it is still trying to launch its Starliner commercial spaceship. Early in 2023, the first crewed flight might take place. In the meantime, NASA has kept extending its collaboration with SpaceX, increasing the value of their overall agreement to cover 15 crewed missions totaling more than $4.9 billion.