This is SpaceX’s fourth manned flight for the benefit of NASA. It takes place on the night of November 10 to 11, 2021. Four astronauts make the trip to the ISS. The event can be followed live.
- When ? November 11, 2021, from 3:03 a.m. (Paris time).
- Where ? At Kennedy Space Center, Florida, then in space.
- What ? The departure of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS.
What is the mission?
This is the transfer of four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) for a long stay of six months – the standard duration. To this end, it will mobilize a Falcon 9 rocket designed by SpaceX, which will take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once well away from Earth, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will somehow take over the controls, for maneuvers until docking.
The four astronauts on board include three members of NASA, two men and a woman, all of American nationality: Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron. The last passenger, Matthias Maurer, is of German nationality and represents the European Space Agency. For Matthias Maurer, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, this will be the first trip to the ISS.
Raja Chari will assume the role of captain in the Crew Dragon – even if the automation of procedures and the supervision of SpaceX greatly lighten the workload of the crew during the transit. Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron will serve as pilot and mission specialist. As for Matthias Maurer, he will also be a mission specialist during the flight to the ISS.
Once up there, they will not rub shoulders with the crew of Crew-2, which returned to Earth on the night of November 8-9. Frenchman Thomas Pesquet was one of them. He has now returned to France, where he will be able to take a little rest. On the other hand, the members of Crew-3 will cross the members of the Russian segment of the station, which them make the shuttle with Soyuz.
When is the SpaceX Crew-3 mission departing?
This new manned mission led by SpaceX is scheduled for Thursday, November 11 at 3:03 a.m. in metropolitan France.
It was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 31, at 8:21 a.m. (Paris time), but a nearby storm prompted NASA to delay the departure by a few days. Subsequently, a medical concern concerning a crew member necessitated another delay of a few days. The weather conditions remained relatively degraded thereafter, which led to another slippage in the schedule.
—NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) November 9, 2021
Where can I watch the event live?
You have at your disposal two great broadcasting channels to see the event live. On the one hand, you have the SpaceX site, which has its own feed and commentary team. Otherwise, you have the option of falling back on NASA. The US space agency has a live channel (in English).