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SpaceX launching Next American crew to ISS takes off on Monday

'Crew-6' will spend six months in space; Emirati and Russian are on the team

Falcon 9 B1078 ontop with Crew Dragon "Endeavour" Poised at Kennedy LC-39A

The United States and NASA has completed crew preparation for the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavor spacecraft(mission Crew-6, USCV-6) with the participation of a cosmonaut from Roscosmos and one from the UAE space agency for launch on the ISS. The new Falcon 9 B1078 rocket's final static ignition tests were conducted at Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida prior to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on February 27. SpaceX reported: "Falcon 9 static firing tests ahead of the next Crew-6 mission to the ISS have been completed," the statement said. At the same time, it is indicated that the spacecraft's crew also "completed a full development of actions on launch day". According to SpaceX, the rocket, along with the spacecraft, was installed on the Kennedy Space Center platform. The crew includes American astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev. The launch will take place on February 27 at Launch Complex 39A at 01:45 ET (03:45 ET). It is planned that in total the crew will spend six months on the station. The weather forecast calls for 95% to 90% clear weather for the 27th, and a reserve opportunity is available on Tuesday, February 28th at 01:22 EST (06:22 UTC, 09:22 Moscow, 10:22 Gulf Time).

Crew-6 Infographics ; Launch campaign summary

The rocket's first stage is expected to land on the SpaceX's Just Read the Instructions (JRTI that will be stationed at the planned recovery position 550 km off the coast of Florida. Meanwhile, the support and recovery ship Megan will be on standby in the ocean for a possible rescue operation in the event of a breakdown in the initial flight phase.



Emblem of launch campaign by SpaceX

The craft will dock to the 'zenith' docking port of the Harmony module on the station's American segment the following day. During their stay on the space station, the crew will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations in areas such as physical and biological sciences for advanced materials, technology development, space manufacturing applications, and student-designed research.

The spacecraft was configured to eventually bring back the crew of Soyuz MS-22 serving as an emergency evacuation after Crew-5 and Soyuz MS-23 on the International Space Station. Astronauts will lift off from Launch Complex 39A on Falcon 9 rocket #B1078 at Kennedy Space Center. This is the sixth crew rotation mission with astronauts using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket serial number B1078 as part of the Commercial Crew Program.


The Crew Dragon spacecraft on this mission previously flew Axiom Space's Demo-2, Crew-2 and Ax-1 manned missions to and from the space station.


The Crew-6 Mission


Crew-6: Fedyaev, Hoburgh, Bowen and AlNeyadi

Bowen and Hoburg were assigned in December 2021 and began training on the spacecraft and space station systems. Fedyaev and AlNeyadi were added as the third and fourth members in July 2022. 'Crew-6' will spend about six months in space before returning to Earth.


As part of the refurbishment process on the spacecraft, crews installed new components, including the heat shield, nose cowling, cylindrical trunk support and radiator ( trunk ), the forward bulkheads and service section Draco engines. Once all rocket and spacecraft system checks are complete and all components are certified for flight, teams integrate the craft into the rocket in SpaceX's hangar at the launch site. The integrated spacecraft and rocket were then transported to the platform and lifted vertically for a static ignition test and a dry dress rehearsal with the crew on board before launch.


The USCV-6 “Crew-6” mission


This will be the fourth trip for Bowen, a veteran of three shuttle missions: STS-126 in 2008, STS-132 in 2010 and STS-133 in 2011. Bowen has logged more than forty days in space, including 47 hours, 18 minutes during seven spacewalks. As mission commander, he will be responsible for all phases of the flight, from launch to re-entry, and will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 69 aboard the station. Bowen was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and an MS in ocean engineering from the Joint Program in Applied Ocean Science and Engineering offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In July 2000,



The mission will be Hoburg's first flight since his selection as an astronaut in 2017. As a pilot, he will be responsible for the spacecraft's systems and performance. Aboard the station, he will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 69. Hoburg is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of his selection as an astronaut, Hoburg was an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Hoburg's research focused on efficient methods for designing engineering systems. He is also a commercial pilot with instrument ratings in both single-engine and multi-engine aircraft.





Al Neyadi will make his first trip to space, representing the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) of the United Arab Emirates. He was one of two selected from 4,022 applicants to become the Emirati's first astronauts, after a series of physical and mental tests at home and in Russia. He went through the Emirates Astronaut Program at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center. In September 2018, Prime Minister of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that the first Emirati astronauts on the International Space Station were Hazza Al Mansouri and Al Neyadi. It was later announced that Al Mansouri would fly the first mission, with Al Neyadi as a backup. Al Mansouri launched on Soyuz MS-15 in September 2019 for an eight-day flight to the ISS before returning to Earth on October 3.


Sultan Al Neyadi was born in Um Ghafa, a remote area outside of Al Ain. He lived his childhood in his grandfather's house, and studied at Boys Primary School at Um Ghafa Secondary School. His father served in the UAE Armed Forces.


He will be the first Emirati astronaut to fly on a commercial American spacecraft. MBRSC's participation in this mission is a byproduct of a 2021 agreement between NASA and Axiom to fly an American astronaut, Mark T. Vande Hei, aboard Soyuz MS-18 (launch) and Soyuz MS-19 (return). , in order to ensure a continued American presence aboard the ISS. In return, Axiom received the rights to a NASA-owned seat aboard Crew-6. Axiom offered the professional MBRSC crew member the opportunity to fly through an agreement with the UAE Space Agency. Later, the astronaut was confirmed as Sultan Al Neyadi.



Fedyaev will also make his first trip and will also serve as a mission specialist, working to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of the flight. He will be a flight engineer for Expedition 69. Fedyaev was selected in July 2022 for this mission as part of the Soyuz-Dragon crew exchange system of keeping at least one American astronaut and one Roscosmos cosmonaut on each of the crew rotation missions . This ensures that both countries have a presence on the station and the ability to keep their systems separate if the Soyuz or commercial crew vehicles are down for an extended period. Konstantin Borisov is his replacement.





Once in orbit, the SpaceX crew and Mission Control in Hawthorne, California., will monitor a series of automatic maneuvers that will guide Endeavor to the Harmony module docking port. After several maneuvers to increase its orbit, Endeavor will be in a position to rendezvous with the ISS. The spacecraft is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew can take over if necessary. Once docked, Crew-6 will be received by the Expedition 69 crew.


Astronauts from the US portion of the current mission, Crew-5, will undock their capsule from the station and land off the coast of Florida several days after Crew-6 arrives.

Crew-6 will conduct "scientific research to prepare for manned exploration beyond low orbit and benefit life on Earth", as the American space agency likes to proclaim. Experiments will include studies of how specific materials ignite in microgravity, tissue chip research into heart, brain and cartilage functions, and an experiment that will collect microbial samples from outside the space station. There are more than 200 scientific experiments and technological demonstrations. During its time on board, Crew-6 will see the arrival of cargo spacecraft, including SpaceX's Cargo Dragon and Russian Progress. Crew-6 is also expected to host Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts with Starliner and commercial crew from Axiom Mission-2 (on another Crew Dragon) during its expedition.

At the conclusion of the mission, Dragon Endeavor will automatically undock with all four crew on board, depart the station and re-enter Earth's atmosphere. After landing off the coast of Florida, a SpaceX recovery vessel will pick up the crew, who will be airlifted to shore by helicopter.

The mission emblem is explained as follows: The Dragon spacecraft represents both the destination, the International Space Station, and the ships that “countless explorers have led into the unknown” , in the politically correct words of the public relations team of the American space agency. The station is at the dawn of missions to the Moon and Mars. The ship's sail, a symbol of NASA's astronaut class of 2012, has curved silhouettes corresponding to Earth, Moon and Mars. The constellation Draco represents NASA's Commercial Crew Program and shares its name with the spacecraft's orbital tuning engines. The dragon bow sculpture "looks to the future as we look to Earth, grateful for the tireless hours of all who support the mission".


Launch Timeline

All approximate times hh min ss event

00:45:00 Launch director checks propellant supply 00:42:00 Crew access arm retracts 00:37:00 Launch escape system armed 00:35:00 RP-1 kerosene supply started 00 :35:00 LOX (liquid oxygen) supply started 00:16:00 2nd stage LOX supply started 00:07:00 Rocket starts to cool down engine before launch 00:05:00 Spacecraft Dragon passes to internal power 00:01:00 Computer command for final prelaunch checks 00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins 00:00:45 Launch director checks readiness for liftoff 00:00:03 Engine controller commands ignition sequence for takeoff 00:00:00 Takeoff

All approximate times hh min ss event

00:01:02 Max Q (maximum moment of stress on the rocket) 00:02:34 1st stage main engine cut (MECO) 00:02:38 Separate 1st and 2nd stages 00:02:45 2nd engine ignition stage 00:07:22 1st stage re-entry ignition 00:08:47 2nd stage engine cut (SECO-1) 00:08:59 1st stage landing burn 00:09:26 1st stage landing 00: 11:57 Spacecraft separates from 2nd stage 00:12:45 Dragon nose opening sequence begins





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