Crew members of another space station mission pose for photographers after arriving at the Kennedy Space Center in 2023. August 20 From left to right: Mission Specialist Konstantin Borisov, Pilot Andreas Mogensen, Commander Jasmin Moghbeli and Mission Specialist Satoshi Furukawa. Image: Michael Cain/Spaceflight Now. The other four crew members, who are set to stay aboard the International Space Station for six months, flew to the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday to prepare for launch early Friday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, crew-7 commander, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov landed on the old space shuttle runway around noon EDT after a flight from Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“You can probably tell from the big smiles on our faces that we’re very excited to finally be here at Kennedy Space Center and the journey we’re about to embark on,” said Moghbeli, a Marine Corps helicopter tester and mother. two-and-a-half-year-old twin girls.
Moghbeli and her crewmates plan to buckle into their Crew Dragon capsule, Endurance, at historic pad 39A early Tuesday for a countdown dress rehearsal. After the work is complete and the crew exits the spacecraft, SpaceX plans to test the nine Merlin first-stage engines to verify that the booster is ready for the first flight.
Assuming there are no problems and the weather cooperates, the crew is sure to arrive around 1:15 a.m. Friday morning for a 3:49 a.m. launch. at the station on Saturday after 2 o’clock
“This is our seventh mission to the International Space Station under the Commercial Crew Program,” said Kennedy Space Center Director Janet Petro. “And while we have a strong manifesto here, we’re always very excited when we’re going to stick a human on a rocket.” (It) always raises the excitement level.
The crew in their SpaceX suits during pre-flight training in their Crew Dragon capsule. From left to right: Mission Specialist Konstantin Borisov, Pilot Andreas Mogensen, Commander Jasmin Moghbeli and Mission Specialist Satoshi Furukawa. Image: SpaceX. Borisov and Moghbeli, a Marine lieutenant who has completed more than 150 combat missions, are making their first space flight. in 2015 Mogensen visited the space station for nine days on a short-term Russian Soyuz flight, while Furukawa visited the space station in 2011. stayed 167 days.
Borisov is the third Russian to fly a SpaceX Crew Dragon under an agreement between NASA and the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos to launch one NASA astronaut for each Soyuz flight to the station and one cosmonaut on each Crew Dragon to the ISS. .
The contract ensures that at least one crew member from each country is always on the station, even if an accident forces a Soyuz or Crew Dragon to leave early.
“If you’ve ever seen evidence that this is an international program, you’ll see it today with this crew,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who welcomed the Crew-7 fliers to Florida. “Of all the crews, it’s the most international that we’ve had and I think that shows the breadth of collaboration around the world.”
Borisov said: “I am honored to be part of the most international crew. Experienced astronauts and cosmonauts say that when you go to the ISS and look at the planet, you see that there are no borders. And really, I want to continue and convey that feeling and emotion, and to maintain the cooperation that we have so far.