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NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts ready for historic mission - Space.com

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts ready for historic mission - Space.com

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts ready for historic mission - Space.com
Sep 21, 2022 2 mins, 44 secs

SpaceX's next astronaut launch for NASA will have a Russian cosmonaut in one of the four seats, during a tense time for the International Space Station.

SpaceX's next Crew Dragon astronaut launch for NASA will see a new country represented in one of the sleek white spacesuits.

The foursome will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) no earlier than Oct.

Kikina was reticent in early August when Space.com asked about how the Russian relationship with America is going, in the weeks after the country announced it would withdraw from the ISS after 2024 to create a Russian space station.

But with former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine recently calling the agency's Russian relationship "schizophrenic", the pressure falls on Crew-5 to demonstrate that the ISS will in the meantime, withstand the ruptures fracturing basically all other space partnerships out there.

NASA has been emphasizing in recent months that the Russian ISS withdrawal will be gradual and carefully managed, but harsh realities face the remaining partners who choose to stay with the agency until 2030.

The station cannot be broken into pieces, and its propulsion is managed by Russian mission control on the ground, NASA has said.

As for the Russian zone in space, it is possible the agency might come to an arrangement to use or purchase it.

Wakata is the only veteran on the crew, and quite a heavyweight presence at that: His 347 days in space include flights on four NASA space shuttle missions and a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, adding up to two long-duration stays and two short stays in space so far.

Related: The International Space Station will eventually die by fire.

Wakata's first launch was in 1996, while Russia and NASA were taking their first tentative steps together in human spaceflights for decades.

"We focus on what we can do today to make the make the most out of this utilization of the space station," Wakata said in an Aug.

When asked if in space, Wakata could possibly have missed any experience that he wants to get to this time around, the 59-year-old astronaut says he wants to do a spacewalk on this mission.

Crew-5 might be the last space sojourn for Wakata; he said he would be "too old" to go to the moon on behalf of Japan, which NASA wants to do with humans in the mid-2020s or so.

When asked by Space.com if she would like to go to the moon for the agency's Artemis program, Mann said yes and promptly extended an invitation for us to join, adding (perhaps) more seriously she hopes to see more types of people fly in space soon.

(NASA astronaut John Herrington, enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, was the first Native American to reach space (opens in new tab) during shuttle mission STS-113 in 2002, according to NASA.).

"As you grow as an astronaut, it's so beneficial to see different ways of doing things with different ideas," added Mann, who first joined NASA as an astronaut candidate in 2013.

— In photos: SpaceX's Crew-3 astronaut launch for NASA.

Providing NASA can solve an ongoing leak issue for its spacesuits, Cassada said the hope is the crew can take on a few spacewalks to upgrade the ISS solar panels and by association, the power supply on the 24-year-old complex.


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