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ISS Welcomes Four New Astronauts To Carry Out Over 200 Experiments
The International Space Station (ISS) has opened its doors for four new astronauts. The new squad reached the space outpost aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew includes Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada of NASA, JAXA’s Koichi Wakata, and Anna Kikina of Russia’s Roscosmos.
While this is the record fifth orbital mission for Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Wakata, other members of the crew are on their first space voyage. This also marks the first time a Native American woman, Nicole Mann, has gone to space.
Space Crunch Aboard International Space Station?
Currently, 11 astronauts are aboard the space laboratory, five more than usual. But thanks to the ample amount of space on ISS, astronauts won’t find it hard to fix their spots. Besides, SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Samantha Cristoforetti are soon set to return to Earth after a six-month stay at the ISS.
Welcome to the International Space Station, #Crew5!— NASA (@NASA) October 6, 2022
The crew, including NASA's @AstroDuke, commander, and @Astro_Josh, pilot, will spend several months aboard the orbiting laboratory, conducting more than 200 experiments. Follow @Space_Station for updates. pic.twitter.com/W2yBybbdyM
The new members will then be accompanied by Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, who joined the other crews on ISS in September 2002, and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio. All astronauts aboard the ISS gave a warm welcome to the new arrivals.
What Will The New Crew Do On ISS?
Crew-5 astronauts will be spending four months on the space outpost and will carry out over 200 science experiments in microgravity conditions. Besides, they will also be working on technology demonstrations alongside conducting spacewalks when required.
Their mission will also include engaging with students back on Earth and regular interviews with the media. The crew is also required to follow a strict exercise regime apart from celebrating special occasions with fellow ISS crew members and getting breathtaking views of the blue marble Earth from space.
Russian Cosmonauts To Soon Exit ISS
The ISS is showing signs of aging and that might push NASA’s partners to cut ties with the orbital outpost. Earlier, Russia’s new space chief confirmed that the country will stop sending cosmonauts to the ISS by 2025. Russian cosmonauts have been a part of the ISS’ crew ever since it started operations. Since NASA might decommission the space laboratory in 2031, Russia aims to build its 1space observatory.
NASA said that it aims to continue taking ISS’ services for another eight years before finally pulling the plug on it and shifting operations to a privately funded space station. However, it’s still unknown if Russia’s exit from the ISS could derail the space agency’s plans.