December 4, 2021

ISS welcomes new crewmembers with SpaceX Crew-3 arrival

Yesterday, we talked about that SpaceX and NASA have lastly efficiently launched the Crew-3 mission, sending 4 new astronauts to dwell on the ISS. The profitable launch got here after a number of delays because of climate and different points. Crew-3 was speculated to have launched on October 31, and it was then delayed till November 3 earlier than lastly launching on November 10. Crew-3 lastly docked with the ISS half-hour forward of schedule on Thursday, November 11 at 6:32 PM.

Docking occurred lower than 24 hours after launching from Kennedy House Middle in Florida. Aboard the Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft had been Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron from NASA, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. NASA says the hatch of Endurance was opened at 8:25 PM, and the welcoming ceremony with the opposite Expedition 66 crewmembers occurred at 9 PM.

The photograph seen above was taken on the welcome ceremony. Aboard the ISS when the Crew-3 astronauts arrived had been Mark Vande Hei, Anton Shkaplerov (Expedition 66 commander), and Pyotr Dubrov. The arrival of the astronauts on the ISS marks the third crew rotation mission SpaceX has carried out. Expedition 66 continues till April 2022.

With the a number of delays within the launch of Crew-3, NASA determined to return the Crew-2 astronauts to Earth utilizing the Crew Dragon that took them into orbit. Crew-2 astronauts splashed down within the Gulf of Mexico close to Pensacola, Florida, with out difficulty. Crew-2 launched on April 23, 2021, docking with the ISS on April 24, 2021. Crew-2 carried NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Company), astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European House Company) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

One notable second within the Crew-2 mission was a spacewalk carried out by Hoshide and Pesquet, which was the primary spacewalk carried out on the ISS with out an American or Russian collaborating. The most important downside that prevented Crew-3 from launching in October or early November was the climate.

One of many astronauts aboard Crew-3 additionally had an undisclosed medical difficulty described as minor. That difficulty did clear up earlier than the flight may launch. NASA was compelled to desert Crew-3 launch alternatives on November 6 and November 7. Unfavorable climate circumstances had been NASA’s foremost concern in each situations, together with excessive winds at liftoff and clouds. The climate concern on November 7 at launch abort websites on the jap seaboard of the US.

One of many oddest issues that NASA and SpaceX have confronted in current reminiscence is defects within the design of the bathroom aboard the Crew Dragon capsule. These defects had been first seen through the Inspiration4 mission that put civilian astronauts into orbit for a number of days. These astronauts relied on the bathroom aboard the Crew Dragon capsule greater than any previous mission.

Throughout the flight, alarms sounded aboard the capsule, noting an issue with the bathroom. The issue needed to do with a tube that directed liquid waste right into a holding tank detaching. The tube misplaced allowed liquid waste to get into the followers used to create detrimental strain within the system. Finally, the liquid waste discovered its approach below the ground panels of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Whereas the leaking waste didn’t influence the crew in any respect, it was confirmed by SpaceX engineers when the capsule had returned to Earth. The issue required a redesign and approval from NASA. SpaceX welded the tube in place. Nevertheless, the Crew Dragon capsule that returned the Crew-2 astronauts to Earth didn’t have the repair in place, and astronauts weren’t allowed to make use of the bathroom. As an alternative, they had been issued diapers for the return flight.

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