Four astronauts begin 6-month mission aboard ISS as SpaceX Dragon ‘Endeavour’ docks successfully

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As the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, named “Endeavour,” docked at the orbital laboratory, the six-month mission of NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, alongside Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin began.

NASA astronauts onboard ISS arrived as Dragon “docked to the complex at 2:28 am EST while the station was 260 statute miles over Newfoundland,” revealed NASA in an official statement on its website.

Departing off Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the quartet commenced their celestial journey in the late hours on Sunday (Mar 3).

Their arrival at the ISS heralded the initiation of a diverse array of scientific endeavours, encompassing over 200 experiments. Amidst the vast expanse of space, these experiments promise to unravel mysteries, expand human knowledge, and pave the way for future exploration.

One experiment involves transporting stem cells to space to investigate their impact on degenerative diseases, while another focuses on studying the cellular effects of microgravity and ultraviolet radiation on plants.

They will also explore whether microalgae can assist in removing carbon dioxide from the air, providing a source of food and oxygen.

SpaceX contracted by NASA 

SpaceX has been contracted by NASA to perform crew rotation missions to the ISS as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Crew Dragon carries astronauts to and from the ISS, allowing for crew rotation and maintaining a continuous human presence aboard the station.

“The crewmates transferred Dragon freezers containing research samples and installed them into science racks throughout the station. Tuesday’s health studies included testing the inner-ear balance system, conducting eye scans with an ultrasound device, and evaluating a specialized suit’s ability to help a crew member readjust to Earth’s gravity,” as per NASA.


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