SpaceX Crew-3 Launch Success! Watch Dragon Spacecraft Dock, Astronauts Enter ISS

SpaceX Crew-3 Launch Success! Watch Dragon Spacecraft Dock, Astronauts Enter ISS
After several launch delays, the SpaceX Crew-3 successfully reached the International Space Station. The new crew will now spend six months in space to perform new and interesting scientific discoveries. Photo : SpaceX/UNSPLASH

After several launch delays, the SpaceX Crew-3 successfully reached the International Space Station. The new crew will now spend six months in space to perform new and interesting scientific discoveries.

SpaceX Crew-3 Launch a Success Despite Several Delays

According to Space.com, the Crew Dragon Endurance--which carried four astronauts--linked up with the station's US-built Harmony module on 6:32 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 10. Both spacecraft flew over the Eastern Caribbean at a distance of 263 miles or 423 kilometers.

The spacecraft took off less than 24 hours ago from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following a series of delays caused by bad weather along the rocket's flight path and a minor medical concern with one of the crew members. Moreover, NASA's Courtney Beasley announced "Capture confirmed" during live transmission, which validates the crew's arrival.

After the validation of the arrival, Beasley officially announced during the broadcast that the Crew Dragon successfully made it to the International Space Station.

The said crew includes NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer. Additionally, Marshburn is the only crew member who has previously traveled to space.

The four astronauts landed at the station safely at approximately 22 hours after their safe takeoff and are now ready to begin their space mission.

Because of the launch delays, NASA decided to return the four Crew-2 members to Earth before launching the Crew-3 mission, leaving Vande Hei in charge of familiarizing the new occupants to the space station.

This method is known as an indirect handoff by NASA, and it normally entails assisting the arriving crew with the basics of space life such as where they will sleep and how to use the toilet. Normally, the outgoing crew is responsible for housekeeping, but because Crew-3 has arrived early, Vande Hei took over.

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ISS Crew Welcomes SpaceX Crew-3 Members

Since four members have successfully arrived in the International Space Station, the total number of the crew in the ISS is now seven--with five on the American side and two on the Russian side.

Fellow astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov, and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov were among the crew members on board to greet them, per NASA. Meanwhile, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations Kathy Lueders and ESA director-general Josef Aschbacher attended the welcome ceremony from Earth.

SpaceX Crew-3 Mission

The Crew-3 astronauts will spend roughly six months aboard the International Space Station performing new and interesting scientific research in various fields such as materials science, health technologies and plant science in order to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth, per NASA.

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