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Recently SpaceX has successfully delivered a Crew-2 capsule with four astronauts aboard back to the Earth. Not waiting too long it finally launched yesterday another crew of four to the International Space Station. It is the fifth time the company has sent people to space. The Verge wrote that now the crew will glide in orbit the whole day when finally the capsule can dock with the ISS.

The mission, called Crew-3, is carrying three NASA astronauts — Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron — and one German astronaut, Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency. A number of delays followed this mission before it was finally lifted off. But, despite it, the foursome finally took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 9:03PM ET, with a capsule on top of one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. After the rocket delivered the capsule into low Earth orbit, they were detached and Falon 9 then turned back toward Earth and performed one of SpaceX’s signature rocket landings on the company’s drone ship in the Atlantic.

“Welcome to orbit,” SpaceX mission control greeted the crew when the rocket and capsul were separated. “Hope you enjoyed the ride from [the Falcon 9]. Dragon will take you from here. Safe travels.” The launch director also sent his warm wishes to the crew. “It was a pleasure to be part of this mission with you,” he said. “Enjoy your holidays amongst the stars. We’ll be waving as you fly by. Cheers.” Chari responded on board that it was “a great ride, better than we imagined.”

Crew missions are a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. In cooperation with SpaceX, Crew-3 launch was the third crewed mission. SpaceX is responsible for launching the astronauts to the ISS and bringing them home again. Every mission should last roughly six month and this time will be the same. The company plans to bring Crew-3 astronauts bak home in spring 2022.

Crew Dragon is a space capsule designed by SpaceX and the main vehicle to transport people to orbit. The capsule is also designed to dock automatically with a space station, so the crew don’t need to manipulate with any sort of controllers. At around 7:10PM ET tomorrow, November 11th, the Crew Dragon carrying the Crew-3 team will attempt to dock with the ISS, and then about an hour later, the astronauts will open the hatch and enter the station.

The ISS isn’t uninhabited. Three crew members are living on the station and will greet new members aboard: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov. Once inside the station, the seven inhabitants will do a short welcoming ceremony around 9:20PM ET. Maruer is officially the 600th person to fly to space, while Barron is the 601st.

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