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NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Safely Enroute to International Space Station

NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Feb 2023
NASA/Joel Kowsky/NASA
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Dragon spacecraft is launched on Thursday, March 2 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission is the sixth crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Florida - Thursday March 2, 2023: NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission successfully launched into orbit early this morning, March 2.

The SpaceX Falcon rocket lifted off at 12:34 a.m. EST Thursday from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Atop the rocket, the Dragon capsule named Endeavour is carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. They should reach the space station by Friday.

The international crew are the agency’s sixth commercial crew rotation mission with SpaceX aboard the orbital laboratory. They are NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, along with United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

Alneyadi is the first person from the Arab world to fly in space. Crew-6 will replace the U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew on the ISS who've been up there since October.

"The Commercial Crew Program is proof American ingenuity and leadership in space benefits all of humanity – through groundbreaking science, innovative technology, and newfound partnership,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

During Dragon’s flight, SpaceX will monitor a series of automatic spacecraft maneuvers from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California, and NASA teams will monitor space station operations throughout the flight from the Mission Control Center at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Once aboard station, Crew-6 will join the Expedition 68, consisting of NASA astronauts Frank Rubio, Nicole Mann, and Josh Cassada, as well as JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin, and Anna Kikina. For a short time, the 11 crew members will live and work in space together until Crew-5 members Mann, Cassada, Wakata, and Kikina return to Earth a few days later.

Learn more about NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission and Commercial Crew Program at: https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew.