The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft blasted off for its Crew-2 mission with four astronauts

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Image NASA TV)
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in its Crew-2 o SpaceX Crew-2 mission. After about eleven minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and went en route to carry out its mission. This is the second crewed mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft within the normal rotation of the International Space Station crew, the third one overall. This is also the second mission for the Endeavour, used also for the SpX-DM2 mission.

The four new members of the International Space Station crew, who complete the Expedition 65 crew, are:

Akihiko Hoshide. Born on December 28, 1968, in Setagaya, a special ward of Tokyo, Japan, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Keio University in 1992 and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Houston in 1997. He started working at the development of the Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft in 1992 and then moved on to other projects connected to space missions. He was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1999. He was part of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew in the STS-124 mission in May / June 2008, which also made a stop on the International Space Station. He previously served as a member of the Station crew on Expedition 32/33 between December 2011 and July 2012.

Robert Shane Kimbrough. Born on June 4, 1967, in Killeen, Texas, USA, graduated from West Point military academy in aerospace engineering and started serving in the army even in war during Operation Desert Storm. In 1998, he received a master’s degree at Georgia Tech. He started working with NASA in the training of astronauts and only later he was selected as an astronaut himself. In 2008 he was part of the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour during the STS-126 mission, which included docking with the International Space Station, where his tasks included two spacewalks. He previously served as a member of the Station crew on Expedition 49/50 between October 2016 and April 2017.

Katherine Megan McArthur. Born on August 30, 1971, in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, she graduated in aerospace engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1993 and earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of California, San Diego, in 2002. She was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2000. In July 2016 she participated in the NEEMO 21 submarine mission. She was part of the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the STS-125 mission in May 2009.

Thomas Pesquet. Born on February 27, 1978, in Rouen, France, he has a master’s degree at the École nationale supérieure de l’aéronautique et de l’espace in Toulouse, with a major in space systems and space vehicle mechanics. He has obtained a license as an airline pilot at the flight school Air France. In 2002 he started working as an engineer at the French space agency CNES. In 2009 he was selected as an ESA astronaut. He previously served as a member of the Station crew on Expedition 50/51 in the mission called “Proxima” between November 2016 and June 2017. His new mission is called “Alpha”.

Tomorrow, at approximately 9.10 UTC, the Crew Dragon Endeavour will reach the International Space Station and dock directly with the Harmony module. The arrival of the new crew members occurs within a quick turnover, as the end of the Crew-1 mission is scheduled for the next week.

Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur of NASA, Shane Kimbrough, and Akihiko Hoshide (Photo courtesy SpaceX)
Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur of NASA, Shane Kimbrough, and Akihiko Hoshide (Photo courtesy SpaceX)

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