Washington, Jan 31 (IANS) SpaceX is targeting April 20 for the launch of the second crew rotation mission for NASA that will launch four astronauts aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station.
It will be the first mission to fly two international partner crew members as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Programme, NASA said in a blog post.
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join as mission specialists.
The mission will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The crew is scheduled for a long-duration stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew.
Crew-2 also is expected to arrive at the space station to overlap with the astronauts that flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission.
Return of Crew-1 with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, is currently scheduled for late April or early May.
Crew-2 astronauts are set to return in autumn 2021.
The SpaceX Crew-3 mission is targeted for autumn of this year, NASA said.