The International Space Station (ISS) has received four new Crew-5 mission astronauts. Traveling inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft that launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 5, SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts — Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada from NASA, Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Anna Kikina from Roscosmos — successfully docked to the ISS after 29 hours.
Welcome to the International Space Station, #Crew5!
The crew, including NASA’s @AstroDuke, commander, and @Astro_Josh, pilot, will spend several months aboard the orbiting laboratory, conducting more than 200 experiments. Follow @Space_Station for updates. pic.twitter.com/W2yBybbdyM
— NASA (@NASA) October 6, 2022
After docking with the ISS at an altitude of 400 km above the Earth, four astronauts moved to the orbital station, where they were met by the full crew of the ISS to officially congratulate the newcomers. The first to come out through the hatch was a radiant Nicole Mann, who became the first Indian woman in space. For Mann, Kassada and Kikina, this is the first space trip, while Wakata is performing his fifth orbital mission — a record for a Japanese astronaut.
The more the merrier
The arrival of Crew-5 increased the number of astronauts on the ISS to 11 — five more than the “standard” number of its crew. But the station can accommodate so many people without problems. In a week, four people will leave the space outpost when Crew-4 mission astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti return to Earth after a six-month stay. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who arrived together in September 2022, as well as Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, will remain on board.
Crew-5 will spend the next four months working on more than 200 scientific experiments and technology demonstrations in microgravity, as well as carrying out planned spacewalks. An important part of their mission will be regular media interviews and communication with students on the Earth. They will also need to keep fit while in space, with a strict exercise regime. The crew will have enough free time to contemplate our amazing planet.
Station Commander @AstroSamantha welcomes the four @SpaceX #Crew5 members aboard the station as they join the Exp 68 crew for several months of @ISS_Research. pic.twitter.com/rTwfu5KWgn
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) October 7, 2022
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