EarthSky | NASA units busy crew schedule for ISS in 2023

EarthSky | NASA sets busy crew schedule for ISS in 2023

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams pose for an image throughout T-38 pre-flight actions at Ellington Field in Houston on August 16, 2022. NASA has set a busy crew schedule for ISS in 2023. Image by way of NASA/Robert Markowitz.

NASA units busy crew schedule for ISS in 2023

More people in space! A collection of three crewed missions to the International Space Station are actually on NASA’s books for 2023. And it consists of the primary crewed flight of Boeing’s Starliner. Also on the calendar are a pair of personnel transport missions aboard a trusty SpaceX craft.

In truth, the Crew-6 mission assigned to SpaceX for February 2023 will mark the seventh time a Dragon capsule will ship spacefarers to the ISS. Most not too long ago, members of Crew-4 flew the Dragon Freedom again to Earth on October 14, 2022, after 170 days in space. That explicit crew of space farers departed the ISS following the arrival of Crew-5 on the Dragon Endurance on October 5.

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The replacements for Crew-5 will arrive on the space station in mid-February 2023, round Valentine’s Day, NASA said:

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch Dragon and NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev to the space station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After a fast handover interval to orient the Crew-6 workforce, Crew-5 will return to Earth.

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SpaceX’s ISS frequent flier

By the way in which, the ship scheduled to hold Crew-6 has already been to the ISS thrice, NASA stated:

The Crew-6 mission will likely be Dragon Endeavour’s 4th flight to the space station, which beforehand supported the Demo-2, Crew-2, and Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) missions, making the spacecraft the fleet chief in variety of flights to and from the station. The Dragon spacecraft at present is present process refurbishment at SpaceX’s Dragonland facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Next 12 months can even see a second crewed mission to the ISS for SpaceX and NASA. Crew-7 will observe on the heels of Crew-6 someday within the autumn of 2023.

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Starliner to hold a crew, lastly

Then, two months after SpaceX delivers the personnel of Crew-6, Boeing will launch the primary crewed flight take a look at of its CST-100 Starliner. NASA moved the experimental launch to April to keep away from a visitors jam on the station. The Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The Starliner flew for the first time in May 2022. It was the third time Boeing tried to achieve the ISS with the craft. A 1st try failed resulting from an engine misfire, whereas the 2nd try was scrubbed when a set of propulsion valves failed.

In typical rocket scientist jargon, the space company stated it thinks a workforce of NASA and Boeing techs have the bugs labored out:

The joint workforce continues to shut out the OFT-2 anomalies and companion intently collectively to establish ahead work and guarantee all necessities for crewed flight are met. NASA and Boeing at present are engaged on quite a lot of verification efforts throughout a number of essential techniques that will likely be used for Starliner’s crew flight certification.

Starliner crew able to go

While the Starliner can carry as much as seven passengers to orbit, solely two will likely be on the controls when it launches this spring. The pair, together with an understudy, proceed to prep for the mission:

NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams, CFT’s commander and pilot, respectively, and Mike Fincke, backup spacecraft take a look at pilot, together with the Boeing workforce, additionally efficiently accomplished the crew validation take a look at throughout which the astronauts suited up and examined out the pressurized crew module to make sure seat match, swimsuit performance, cabin temperature, audio system and day of launch operations.

Wilmore and Williams will spend two weeks on the ISS. A profitable take a look at flight will enable NASA and Boeing to schedule the Starliner-1 mission to hold 4 astronauts and cargo to the ISS.

NASA sets busy crew schedule for ISS in 2023: White parachutes above a space capsule, splashing down in the ocean.
NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, and Jessica Watkins – with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti – splash down safely in a SpaceX Dragon Freedom capsule, within the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, on October 14, 2022, after 170 days in space. Image by way of NASA

Bottom line: NASA has scheduled three business crew flights to the ISS in 2023.

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