Watch SpaceX launch four Crew-3 astronauts for NASA – TechCrunch

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Just two days after SpaceX safely returned four astronauts from the International Space Station, it is sending another quartet into orbit. Watch the launch live on the video above: SpaceX will begin providing coverage at 4:45 pm EDT, with takeoff scheduled for 9:03 pm EDT. You can also watch a livestream of the launch on the NASA TV Youtube Channel.

The launch, called Crew-3, was originally scheduled to take off on the auspicious date of Halloween, but encountered a number of delays, first due to adverse weather conditions and then due to a “minor medical problem” involving one of the members. of the crew. (NASA did not provide further details on the matter, specifying only that it was not an emergency or related to COVID-19.)

But now the launch is back on track. The quartet – NASA’s Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency – will be transported to the ISS in a SpaceX Dragon capsule they dubbed “Endurance”, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. in space for Maurer, Barron and Chari and the third mission for Maurer. They are expected to spend the next six months on the station, where they will join a single NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts.

Crew-3 is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a partnership between the agency and private industry to develop and use vehicles for human space transport. SpaceX began providing transportation services to and from the ISS under the CCP in 2020, with a $ 3.1 billion contract for six missions. Boeing was awarded a $ 4.8 billion contract under the program for its Starliner capsule, which faced a number of technical hitch which will likely keep him grounded until the first half of next year.

Takeoff will take place from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with astronauts arriving on the ISS by Thursday evening. Should weather conditions prove unfavorable for launch, SpaceX will have another opportunity 24 hours later.

After the separation of the stadiums, the Falcon 9 booster is expected to land autonomously on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” barge stationed off the coast of Florida.

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