Nasa and SpaceX crew of four blast off to ISS

Published August 27, 2023
Cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Nasa astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa prepare to depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to board the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on Saturday. — AFP
Cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Nasa astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa prepare to depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to board the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on Saturday. — AFP

KENNEDY CENTER: Nasa and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft blasted off on Saturday carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Crew-7 mission is commanded by American Jasmin Moghbeli and includes Andreas Mogensen of Denmark, Satoshi Furukawa of Japan and Konstantin Borisov of Russia.

The Dragon spacecraft carried by a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 3:27am from Launch Complex 39A at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, in front of around 10,000 people gathered to watch the launch. “We have liftoff!” Nasa said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Cheers could be heard in the mission control room soon after the Dragon craft separated from the Falcon 9 rocket with the crew in orbit.

“We may have four crew members on board from four different nations… but we’re a united team with a common mission,” Moghbeli said after the separation.

The launch was pushed back to Saturday to give engineers an extra day to review a component of the Crew Dragon capsule’s environmental control and life support system, Nasa said in a blog post. It is the first space mission for both Moghbeli and Borisov.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” said Moghbeli, a Naval test pilot, during a media call last month. “One of the things I’m most excited about is looking back at our beautiful planet,” added the 40-year-old American.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2023

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