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Launches: Crew-5 arrives for ISS launch

Launches: Four people stand together in flight suits in front of a plane.
Members of the Crew-5 mission arrive at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, October 1, 2022. Crew-5 is scheduled for launch at 12 p.m. ET (16:00 UTC) on Wednesday, October 5, from KSC aboard the Crew Dragon Expedition. They will dock with the International Space Station 22 hours later. Read more in Launches. Image via Greg Diesel Walck for EarthSky.

Launches: Crew-5 arrives for ISS launch

The international team of space travelers manning the Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station arrived early Saturday afternoon (October 1, 2022) at Kennedy Space Center. The astronauts will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 tipped with the Crew Dragon Expedition on Wednesday.

The crew members were in preflight isolation in Houston, Texas, for several days. NASA described their quick trip to KSC:

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and mission specialists Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina arrived at the Launch and Landing Facility at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 1, after departing Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Liftoff at noon Wednesday

The Wednesday (October 5) liftoff is set for 12 p.m. (16:00 UTC). NASA will stream the launch via its media website. NASA said the list of events include the following:

The launch is targeted for noon EDT, Wednesday, October 5, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, is scheduled to dock to the space station at 4:57 p.m. EDT Thursday, October 6. Crew arrival, launch, the post-launch news conference, and mission coverage through docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. NASA also will host an audio only prelaunch news teleconference.

The mission will carry the last of the Expedition 67 crew to the ISS. Cosmonaut Kikina will fly with Crew-5 as part of a seat exchange with Roscosmos that already saw NASA astronaut Frank Rubio head to the ISS aboard a Soyuz in September. The exchange is an effort by the ISS partner nations to smooth international relations as Russia makes war on neighboring Ukraine.

A mission of unity, diversity

Crew-5 also represents the first time a Native American will command the ISS with Nicole Mann. She offered remarks on the significance of the mission after the crew’s arrival at KSC:

I am very proud to represent Native Americans and my heritage. I think it’s important to celebrate our diversity and also realize how important it is when we collaborate and unite, the incredible accomplishments that we can have.

Four astronauts in flight suits, two on either side of a sign with their names.
The astronauts for Crew-5 pose for photos after arriving at the Kennedy Space Center on October 1, 2022. Image via Greg Diesel Walck for EarthSky.

Bottom line: The Crew-5 mission team arrived at Kennedy Space Center on October 1, 2022, in anticipation of liftoff to the International Space Station on October 5.

Read more about Crew-5

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