In fact, the four astronauts were supposed to be in space since yesterday, but the weather was very bad over the Atlantic. This is why the Space X flight begins today only shortly before sunrise local time, 11.49 am our afternoon, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
Crew members from the United States, Japan and France
There were three men and one woman on board from the United States, Japan and France. Thomas Pesquet will be the first European to fly Space X to the International Space Station (ISS). He’ll stay there for half a year and then take over the wheel later. On board were two American astronauts, Shane Kimbro and Megan MacArthur, as well as their Japanese colleague Akihiko Hosheed.
The spaceship and the rocket are reused
It is the second routine mission of NASA since the resumption of manned space flight in the United States, and the second with the “Crew Dragon” of the private space company SpaceX. What is new is that the crew is using the materials used this time. The capsule was already at the start of SpaceX’s first mission, and the Falcon rocket was used last November.
Before that, the company of American businessman Elon Musk was only transporting goods into space. The first crew is supposed to return to Earth next Wednesday. That’s how long it’s going to be a little tight on the International Space Station.
The Frenchman becomes the third European captain of the International Space Station
For Thomas Pisquet, this is the second mission in space after six months in residence on the International Space Station as of November 2016. His new flight will be crowded: about a hundred scientific experiments await a trained flight engineer. Among other things, it is meant to transport the so-called point into space – a sticky elementary organism whose properties must be examined in weightlessness.
Similar to German astronaut Alexander Gerst, Pesquet wants to report his new mission to radio and videos to young and old about his experiences on the International Space Station. After Belgian Frank de Winn in 2009 and Alexander Gerst in 2018, Pesquet will also be the third European to command the International Space Station.