A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft concluded its Crew-3, or SpaceX Crew-3, mission on behalf of NASA by splashing down without problems. On board were astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer, who reached the International Space Station on November 11, 2021, and were part of Expedition 66 and 67. The four completed the second regular manned mission of SpaceX in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Tampa, Florida. The Crew Dragon departed the Station almost exactly one day ago.
A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft docked to the International Space Station’s Harmony module completing the first part of its Crew-4 or SpaceX Crew-4 mission that began almost 16 hours earlier with its launch. After checking that the pressure is correctly balanced, the hatch will be opened to allow Robert Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, Jessica Watkins, and Kjell Lindgren to enter the Station.
A little while ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in its Crew-4 or SpaceX Crew-4 mission with Robert Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, Jessica Watkins, and Kjell Lindgren . 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 4th crewed mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft within the normal rotation of the International Space Station crew. This is also the first mission for the Freedom.
NASA and ESA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the installation of the Hubble Space Telescope’s ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) instrument with the publication of some images among the more than 125,000 captured during these twenty years of service. On March 7, 2002, astronauts James Newman and Mike Massimino installed the ACS during the space shuttle Columbia’s STS-109 mission. This instrument made a significant contribution to a lot of extraordinary astronomical research conducted using Hubble.
A little while ago, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched atop an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from the Kourou base, French Guiana. After about 27 minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and began its journey to the area known as L2, about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. During the journey, its structure will be deployed and instrument tests and calibrations will begin. That’s a long preparation phase that will continue even after the telescope has reached its destination. The launch has put a strain on the possibilities of one of the most powerful and reliable rockets available but was only the first in a series of critical steps required to begin the work of this extremely sophisticated instrument.