SpaceX launches four-astronaut team on NASA space mission

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Al Jazeera English 23 April, 2021 - 08:29am 25 views

When is the rocket launch?

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying four Crew-2 astronauts lifts off from NASA's Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Station in Cape Canaveral Florida on April 23, 2021. The Crew-2 astronauts walk out before launch April 23, 2021. The Crew-2 astronauts walk out before launch April 23, 2021. Space.comSpaceX launches 4 astronauts to space station, nails rocket landing

Where did spacex launch from today?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The SpaceX rocket launched from Cape Canaveral at 5:49 a.m. carrying astronauts four astronauts -- two American, one Japanese and one European — who make up the Crew-2 mission inside SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which is now en route to the International Space Station. WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlandoWhat were those white flashes in the sky after SpaceX’s Crew-2 launch? We explain

Did spacex launch this morning?

Liftoff happened at 5:49 a.m. – SpaceX launched four astronauts from NASA's Kennedy Space Center early Friday morning on the company's third mission carrying humans to the International Space Station. WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlandoRE-WATCH: Flawless SpaceX launch with 4 astronauts from Kennedy Space Center

What time is the spacex launch tomorrow?

Liftoff is scheduled for 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT). Update for 6:40: SpaceX has successfully launched the Crew-2 astronaut mission to the International Space Station and landed its Falcon 9 rocket at sea. Read our full story on the launch here. Space.comSpaceX will launch 4 astronauts to the space station before dawn Friday. Here's how to watch.

The International Space Station might be bigger than a football field, but it's equipped with just seven permanent sleeping pods, each about the size of a phone booth. NASA has to get creative for those rare times when there are more people than beds.

When the four new crew members arrive, they'll join seven already on board. Two astronauts will have to sleep in the docked SpaceX capsules. And that leaves two others without beds — but that's not a problem. "The nice thing about sleeping in space is that just about anywhere can be your bedroom," said NASA spokesman Dan Huot.

The packed house is only temporary. SpaceX is launching NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. The crew will spend the next six months in space.

The four astronauts who arrived last November are scheduled to return to Earth next week. During this brief transition period, those two bedless crew members can pick wherever they want to call home.

"They'll talk with the flight controllers and pick out spots on the station for the different astronauts to set up their own temporary stakeout location," said Huot.

Figuring out sleeping arrangements isn't a new problem for station astronauts. During space shuttle missions, there sometimes were more astronauts than bedrooms. Since astronauts float in the station, pretty much any surface — floor, ceiling or wall — can be a great place to roll out your sleeping bag.

"Sleeping in space was absolutely the best sleep I've ever had in my entire life," said retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott. She spent more than 100 days in orbit, in the space shuttle and the space station.

"I always slept on the ceiling because where else can you sleep on your ceiling? You float into that bag and you find your position, and I would not wake up until the alarm went off."

The station has hosted up to 13 visiting space travelers, setting the record back in 2009.

In recent years, it has been home to only around a half-dozen astronauts at a time. With a packed crew, mission planners have to pay close attention to things like exercise schedules. Each astronaut is required to exercise a certain amount every day to prevent muscle and bone loss in orbit, which requires careful planning.

One thing NASA isn't worried about — bathrooms. A recent cargo launch sent a new toilet to the station, bringing the number of space commodes to three. "It's a blessing that there are three toilets up there now for a crew of 11," said Stott.

Having to figure out problems like sleeping arrangements and bathroom capacity for a larger crew is a sign that NASA is entering a new chapter for the International Space Station. The agency's $6 billion Commercial Crew Program relies on private companies SpaceX and Boeing to launch astronauts to the station, ending a nearly decade-long gap of U.S. launches after the space shuttle program ended.

"We're finally reaching it because we have the new technological capabilities. We've got commercial crews that can make some of that possible in a way that shuttle and soyuz just simply couldn't support."

There are no signs of slowing down. NASA and SpaceX are set to launch four more astronauts as early as October, giving even more astronauts a chance to sleep on the station.

Read full article at Al Jazeera English

Excitement building along Space Coast ahead of Crew-2 launch

WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando 22 April, 2021 - 11:39am

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – With anticipation building for Friday’s launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station, families are making plans along the Space Coast to secure a spot for watching the liftoff.

Jetty Park, which is one of the prime launch day viewing locations, is where Carrie Fountain and her family have parked their RV since Wednesday.

“We’re really excited that it’s the crewed launch and people going to the space station,” Fountain said. “We just think it’s history in the making and want the kids to see it.”

According to Brevard County officials, there could be more than 200,000 people coming into the county for Friday’s SpaceX Crew-2 launch, which is scheduled for 5:49 a.m.

Shannon Hoyt made the trip from southwest Florida and said she’s excited to watch a launch for the first time with her family.

“We drove over here to see the rocket launch and have a couple days of learning about space,” Hoyt said. “Just have fun with it and enjoy it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Traffic is expected to be busy along the Space Coast early Friday. Drivers are urged to follow electronic message signs for pre-launch and post-launch traffic.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.

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