3 American astronauts and a fourth German took off on Wednesday to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX spacecraft, with a 6-month orbital mission that was supposed to start ten days ago, but has been repeatedly postponed.
The four astronauts will replace the crew that left the International Space Station a few days ago and returned to Earth on Monday/Tuesday night, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet.
The new crew took off from Florida aboard a capsule carried by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, at 21:03 (2:03 GMT Thursday).
And their “Dragon” capsule is supposed to dock with the space station Thursday at 19:10 (00:10 GMT Friday).
The crew was scheduled to take off in late October, but the take-off process was repeatedly postponed, especially due to weather conditions, and then due to a “minor health problem” suffered by one of the astronauts, and NASA did not reveal details about it.
NASA then decided to bring back the Crew-2 team before launching the Crew-3 team.
The crew was named “Cro-3” because it is the third mission to the International Space Station carried out by SpaceX for NASA, but it is actually the fifth time that Elon Musk’s company has launched humans into orbit, as it carried out before Crew-1 and Crew-2 a test mission “Demo- 2”, during which it transported two astronauts to the International Space Station. In September, it launched four tourists into space for three days without NASA.
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