SpaceX, NASA successfully launch manned Crew-8 mission to International Space Station

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX and NASA connected Sunday successfully launched their associated Crew-8 ngo to nan International Space Station from nan NASA Kennedy Space Center successful Florida.

Together, NASA and SpaceX launched a unit of 4 to nan ISS wrong nan Dragon spacecraft, marking SpaceX’s eighth unit rotation ngo to nan ISS wrong NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Sunday's motorboat was nan 3rd attempt, aft being scrubbed doubly antecedently owed to bad weather.

Engineers wished that a mini ace connected nan hatch seal would not coming capable of an rumor to abort nan launch, and nan ngo achieved liftoff astatine 10:53 p.m. Mission unit connected nan crushed shouted erstwhile nan first-stage booster separated and Dragon proceeded toward abstraction soon earlier 11 p.m.

The NASA astronauts see commandant Matthew Dominick, aviator Michael Barratt, ngo master Jeanette Epps, and Russian Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, who is besides acting arsenic ngo specialist. This is nan first ngo to nan ISS for each isolated from Barratt, who is now making his 3rd visit.

The Dragon spacecraft was launched by nan Falcon 9 rocket, which SpaceX describes arsenic a “reusable, two-stage rocket,” making it nan first reusable rocket of its kind. Once it detaches from Dragon, it will onshore astatine Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The crew, group to return successful Fall 2024, will walk 6 months astatine nan ISS. Days ago, administrators revealed they recovered a mini aerial leak astatine nan abstraction station.

“It’s not an effect to Crew-8, but I didn’t want anybody to beryllium surprised,” ISS Program Manager Joel Montalbano said during a Crew-8 ngo briefing. He said they don’t judge nan leak will effect unit safety, but that “teams are watching it.” 

While aboard nan ISS, often referred to arsenic a “floating laboratory," nan unit will execute much than 200 subject experiments arsenic portion of nan semipermanent ngo to hole humanity for semipermanent stays successful space. 

Some of nan experiments see bringing stem cells to abstraction to study their effects connected degenerative disease, arsenic good arsenic looking astatine nan cellular effect of microgravity and ultraviolet radiation connected plants, pinch hopes that plants tin stay an progressively important portion for nourishment during these lengthy stays.

The unit will besides beryllium experimenting pinch unit cuffs connected legs to spot if they alleviate wellness problems, including fluid shifts among astronauts successful abstraction experiencing weightlessness. With nary gravity connected nan ISS, fluids successful nan assemblage thin to displacement upward toward nan head, which tin origin wellness problems pinch oculus and caput unit — thing astronauts are each excessively acquainted with. 

Spirulina, often utilized successful smoothies down connected Earth, is besides being sent to abstraction connected nan Crew-8 mission. The astronauts will beryllium looking to spot if microalgae could thief to region CO2 from nan air, providing some nutrient and oxygen for astronauts. 

This latest motorboat comes connected nan heels of a engaged twelvemonth for SpaceX, which saw almost 100 launches wrong nan past year.

When asked astir nan seemingly regular quality of nan progressively engaged motorboat schedule, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson cautioned against letting guards down. 

“Spaceflight is hard. Spaceflight is risky. ... You ne'er want to get into nan framework of mind that it is truthful routine,” Nelson said. “Every clip we launch, it’s achromatic knuckle time, and particularly if humans are connected top.”

Marissa Parra

Marissa Parra is simply a nationalist analogous for NBC News based successful Miami, Florida.

Rebecca Cohen

Rebecca Cohen is simply a breaking news newsman for NBC News.