The mission will be the sixth operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the fourth under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. It follows a successful test flight in November that sent four astronauts to the ISS for a six-month stay. The mission marked SpaceX’s first fully crewed launch from U.S soil since 2011, when NASA retired its space shuttle program.
Crew-6 will include two veteran astronauts—NASA’s Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough—and two rookies: Akihiko Hoshide of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of European Space Agency (ESA). They’ll join three other astronauts already aboard the ISS as part of Expedition 64/65: Kate Rubins from NASA; Sergey Ryzhikov from Roscosmos; and Soichi Noguchi also from JAXA.
SpaceX has been working closely with both JAXA and ESA on this mission, which is expected to last about six months before returning home in late August 2021 via splashdown off Florida’s Atlantic coast near Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where it launched earlier this year for its test flight . This marks an important milestone for international cooperation between space agencies around world as they continue their efforts to explore our universe together while pushing boundaries further than ever before!
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