Tech&Innovation

The SpaceX 3 man vehicle docks at the ISS

Four astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday after a daylong trip inside the Crew Dragon capsule built by Elon Musk’s space company, SpaceX. The quartet pushed to more than 600 the number of people to have flown to space, a further milestone in 2021, the busiest year for human spaceflight in over a decade.

This spacecraft was the spacecraft that had some issues prior to the launch. In this spacecraft, there is a space on the ceiling of the vehicle where the crew can relieve their human needs. The suction is created with an internal fan which ensures the waste goes the right way. There was an issue with this fan that made the scat go in the opposite direction during a space mission. However, this issue was fixed when the spacecraft had gone to the international space station.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, nicknamed Endurance, docked with the orbital lab at 6:32 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, about 40 minutes ahead of a schedule announced earlier. Almost two hours later, the hatch opened and the smiling crew members entered the space station one at a time, each wearing blue jumpsuits. They are to remain in orbit until April 2022. The crew includes Mr. Chari and two other NASA astronauts, Kayla Barron and Tom Marshburn, as well as Matthias Maurer, the German astronaut representing the European Space Agency. They joined three others that were already on the space station, two Russians and a NASA astronaut who is in the middle of a nearly yearlong mission.

The docking of Crew-3, the name of the mission, capped a flurry of spaceflight activity this week for SpaceX and NASA, which coordinated the Monday night return of Crew-2, four other astronauts who had spent more than six months on the space station. The company is scheduled to launch another rocket on Friday, carrying satellites for its high-speed internet constellation, Starlink, to orbit. 

During Crew-3’s six months on the space station, the astronauts will work on over 200 science experiments, from printing fiber optics to studying how concrete hardens in microgravity. Some of the astronauts will stick to an “enhanced spaceflight diet” as part of an investigation that aims to determine the healthiest meal plan for astronauts living in space for extended periods of time. It’s one of a handful of scientific investigations that could help NASA researchers understand how astronauts will eat on longer trips to the moon and eventually Mars.

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