Miami, US, Aug 26 (EFE).- NASA and SpaceX’s joint Crew-7 mission successfully took off in the early hours of Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, United States, onboard the Endurance space capsule and headed to the International Space Station, where the four-member crew will relieve Crew-6 and carry out various experiments.
The launch took place on schedule at 3.27 am on Saturday from the Launch Complex 39A in the Kennedy Space Center in Florida’s Capo Canaveral.
After liftoff, the first stage booster of Falcon 9 landed, as planned, in the Landing Zone-1 of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which could be observed during the live telecast.
NASA experts said that Endurance would not couple with the ISS until Sunday, when the astronauts would exit the spacecraft.
The Crew-7, the seventh manned mission tot he ISS being carried out by NASA and SpaceX, is headed by astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, selected by NASA in 2017 and Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency.
The crew also includes astronauts Satoshi Furukawa – of the Japanese space agency JAXA – and Konstantin Borisov of Russia’s Roscosmos.
During their stay in the orbital laboratory, the crew will conduct new scientific research to benefit humanity on Earth and prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth-orbit, NASA said on its website.
The mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, through which the US agency has tasked private firms such as SpaceX to transport crew and payload to the ISS, apart from carrying out other missions in the low-Earth-orbit.
The Crew-6 will return to earth about five days after Endurance’s arrival depending on the weather conditions, with NASA yet to provide an exact date.
This crew – which includes NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates’ Sultan Al Neyadi and Roscosmos’ Andrey Fedyaev – has completed a six-month stay at the ISS and carried out important scientific research.