Human WorldSpace

Launches: Crew-5 has docked with ISS

Launches: 4 people in spacesuits walk down a ramp outside while smiling.
The astronauts of Crew-5 walk out in advance of their launch to the International Space Station on October 5, 2022. From left, they are NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, and Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). It’s the 5th flight to space for Koichi Wakata and a 1st trip up for the other 3. Image via Greg Diesel Walck.

Crew-5 has docked with ISS

NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the Crew-5 on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The international crew of intrepid space travelers – two American, one Japanese and one Russian – thundered into orbit aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance. And now Crew5 in Crew-5 has successfully docked with the International Space Station.

It was the first time in 20 years that a Russian had launched to space from the United States.

Moreover, the launch represents an attempt to ease tensions between Russia and the four other ISS partners. This is, of course, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This launch follows launch delays for the latest Starlink mission, the famously tardy Artemis 1 moon mission and Hurricane Ian.

Highlights of the October 5 launch

Launches: Crew-5 crew and purpose

Crew-5 members will include Mission Commander Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada of NASA. They are both on their first flight since becoming astronauts in 2013. Joining them will be Koichi Wakata of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on his fifth flight. They’ll also have along another launch rookie, cosmonaut Anna Kikina of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

While not officially declared an attempt at diplomacy to smooth international tensions outside normal channels, Roscosmos officials have indicated a desire for “exploration of space for peaceful purposes.” The news agency Reuters reported this somewhat lackluster statement from the Russians:

The agreement is in the interests of Russia and the United States and will promote the development of cooperation within the framework of the ISS program.

Plans while on the ISS

The group will be busy once in orbit with the hundreds of experiments they’ll monitor at the ISS. According to NASA:

Experiments will include studies on printing human organs in space, understanding fuel systems operating on the moon and better understanding heart disease. These are just some of the more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations that will take place during their mission.

The newest residents of the ISS will join three others who recently arrived via a Soyuz launch from Russia last week. Crew-5 will stay at the station for six months if all goes as planned.

Rocket with trail of fire going through clouds.
Launches: Crew-5 launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 5, 2022. The 4 astronauts on board will arrive at the International Space Station about 29 hours after launch. Image via Greg Diesel Walck.

Bottom line: On October 5, 2022, NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the Crew-5 mission. On October 6, Crew-5 successfully docked with the International Space Station.

October 6, 2022
Human World

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Dave Adalian

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