Astronauts prepare to launch aboard reused SpaceX capsule
April 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Four astronauts from three countries are suited up and strapped into their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which is sitting atop one of SpaceX's 200-foot-tall Falcon 9 rockets at a Florida launch pad.
Kimbrough, McArthur, Pesquet, and Hoshide will join seven astronauts already on board the station, four of whom arrived on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule in November.
For years, SpaceX worked under a $2. 6 billion fixed-price contract to develop its Crew Dragon spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Crew program, which for the first time in space agency history handed over the task of building and testing a crew-worthy spacecraft to the private sector.
SpaceX made history last May with the first crewed launch of a Crew Dragon on a mission called Demo-2, which carried NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken to the ISS for a four-month stay.
McArthur is a Space Shuttle veteran and is married to Behnken, who co-piloted the historic Demo-2 mission last May. McArthur told reporters over the weekend that she was able to get "years of experience" with the Crew Dragon vehicle as Behnken worked alongside SpaceX during the Crew Dragon development process.