Four astronauts from four different countries launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station in a SpaceX spacecraft Saturday.
The Dragon spacecraft is transporting “NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov,” to the ISS “for a science expedition aboard the orbital laboratory.”
“Aboard station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, all while benefiting humanity on Earth,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “By partnering with countries around the world, NASA is engaging the best scientific minds to enable our bold missions, and it’s clear that we can do more – and we can learn more – when we work together.”
According to NASA, the experiments will feature “collection of microbial samples from the exterior of the space station, the first study of human response to different spaceflight durations and an investigation of the physiological aspects of astronauts’ sleep.” The crew is expected to dock at the ISS Sunday morning.
“Space travel is difficult, but you make it look easy,” Moghbeli dispatched to SpaceX mission control following the launch, from the Crew Dragon capsule.
“We’re a united team with a common mission,” she added, according to a CNN report. “Go Crew-7. Awesome ride.”