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Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches international 4-person crew to Space Station

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
March 03, 2023

On Thursday, SpaceX launched a four-person crew to the International Space Station as part of its ongoing partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). The mission, called Crew-6, is now the company’s 7th spaceflight mission with NASA astronauts and the 9th spaceflight mission with human passengers.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off at 12:34 a.m. from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The crew then separated from the Falcon 9 rocket about 12 minutes later in orbit, Bloomberg reported.

The four astronauts onboard include two Americans, Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, and Sultan Al Neyadi from the United Arab Emirates. The four-man crew is slated to be at the ISS for a routine six-month stay.

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According to Bloomberg, Bowen stated just prior to launch, “Once more unto the breach dear friends, Crew-6 is ready to launch.”

The four astronauts will be met by the seven-person crew already at the station. Three people have been there since September from a Russian Soyuz mission and four others have been there since October from the Crew-5 mission.

A few days after landing, the Crew-5 astronauts will return to Earth in their own Crew Dragon capsule after helping the Crew-6 passengers set up at the station.

The launch was originally scheduled for February 27 but was postponed just minutes prior due to a fluid issue in the ignition of the engines.