Update 12:20ET: The Crew-5 mission successfully lifted off at noon, and the first stage booster landed safely on an autonomous drone ship. The crew is now on the way to the ISS. Original article continues below.
The history-making Crew-5 mission is about to take off today from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance spacecraft is set to launch with four astronauts on board, two of whom will usher in firsts for space flight.
The crew includes NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada. Mann will make history as the first indigenous woman from NASA to launch into space. She also will be the first female commander of the Dragon crew capsule. Roscosmos’ Anna Kikina will be the first Russian cosmonaut on the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata will also join the flight.
Their destination is the International Space Station (ISS), where they’ll be for roughly six months. While on the ISS, they’ll conduct research, including studies on printing human organs in space and how fuel systems might operate on the Moon. They’re scheduled to dock at the space laboratory at 4:57PM ET on Thursday, October 6th.
The launch was delayed a couple days because of Hurricane Ian’s destructive path through Florida last week. Now, the launch is expected to take place at 12PM ET today, October 5th. NASA TV’s live launch coverage is already underway at https://www.nasa.gov/live. You can also watch on YouTube.