SpaceX Crew-7, the next group of four astronauts, are now on board the International Space Station, and this diverse crew is definitely putting “International” in the ISS. The new crew hails from four different countries: the US, Denmark, Japan and Russia. There will be 11 people on board the station for a few days before the Crew-6 foursome head back to Earth.
NASA has at least 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations queued up for Crew-7[‘s six months space, many of which will help prepare for the upcoming Artemis missions.
Crew-7 arrived on Sunday, August 27 aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft, which launched at 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew includes NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov. They are currently getting acclimated to life on orbit and becoming oriented with safety procedures and their new roles in space.
This is the seventh commercial crew rotation mission for NASA. Crew-7 joins the space station’s Expedition 69 crew of NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, and Frank Rubio, as well as UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin, and Andrey Fedyaev. Bowen, Hoburg, Alneyadi, and Fedyaev will return to Earth in a few days.
Experiments the new crew will conduct include the collection of microbial samples from the exterior of the space station, the first study of human response to different spaceflight durations, and an investigation of the physiological aspects of astronauts’ sleep.
“The International Space Station is an incredible science and technology platform that requires people from all around the world to maintain and maximize its benefits to people on Earth,” said former astronaut Ken Bowersox, now associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “It’s great seeing Crew-7 launch with four crew members representing four countries who will live and work on humanity’s home in space as we continue the nearly 23 years of a continuous human presence aboard the microgravity laboratory.”