Meet NASA’s Crew-3, ready for Halloween launch to the ISS

A new group of astronauts will soon be heading to the International Space Station (ISS) to join the crew, and they will travel aboard a brand new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The team, known as Crew-3, consists of Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron of NASA, as well as Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency. And at a press conference this week, the four crew members expressed their enthusiasm for the next mission to be launched on Saturday, October 30 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The official crew portrait of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission.
The official crew portrait of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission: (left to right) Commander Raja Chari and pilot Thomas Mashburn, both NASA astronauts. Mission specialist Matthias Maurer from ESA (European Space Agency). NASA Mission Specialist Kayla Barron. Nasa

The crew will travel on a SpaceX Crew Dragon, as part of this craft’s third operational mission for NASA. During the conference, mission commander Raja Chari announced that they had chosen a name for their vehicle.

“We can stop calling it Capsule 210, which is our SpaceX Dragon’s serial number,” said Chari, “and let people know that the crew found the vehicle’s name, which is Endurance.

“It speaks to us on many levels: first, in homage to the tenacity of the human spirit as we push humans and machines further than ever before, going both to stay in extended low earth orbit and to ‘open to private companies and private astronauts, and knowing that we will continue our exploration to go even further. And also as a nod to the fact that the development teams, the production teams and the training teams that have brought us brought here have gone through a pandemic. ”

Chari also mentioned that the name was appropriate as the vehicle will be reused in future missions, as SpaceX capsules are designed to be reusable. “So we’ll be the first to use Endurance, but it won’t be the last time it will be used,” he said.

The other Crew Dragon vessels are the Endeavor, which performed the Dragon’s first crewed test flight and is currently docked to the ISS for the Crew-2 mission, and the Resilience, which performed the Crew-1 mission. for NASA and the recent Inspiration4 private mission.

“It’s hard to adequately express how excited we are as a crew,” said Barron. “We really feel ready to go. “

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