SpaceX, Musk’s commercial Rocket Company, will send four astronauts to the international space station on Friday morning local time. It will be the first time to send astronauts into orbit with rocket boosters recovered from previous space flights.
The company’s “endeavor” manned dragon spacecraft will be launched by SpaceX’s “Falcon 9” rocket at 5:49 am EDT. The launch will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The flight to the space station, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from earth, which will take nearly 24 hours, was originally scheduled to start on Thursday, but was delayed by one day due to unfavorable weather forecasts along the rocket’s flight route.
For Friday’s rescheduled launch, meteorologists predict that as flight path conditions improve, the launch site has a 90% chance of favorable weather.
The mission marks the second “operation” space station team launched by NASA aboard the “dragon spacecraft” capsule since the United States resumed the transportation of astronauts from home to space last year. The U.S. space shuttle program was suspended for nine years after it ended in 2011.
This is also the third manned flight under the new partnership between NASA and SpaceX. The first was a round-trip test mission in May last year, putting only two astronauts into orbit.
The second group on Friday included two NASA astronauts, Shane kimbrough, 53, mission commander, and Megan McArthur, 49, pilot, as well as 52 year old Japanese astronaut Akihiko hoshide and 43 year old mission expert Thomas pesquet, a French engineer at the European Space Agency.
They are expected to live on the international space station for about six months, carry out scientific experiments and maintenance, and then return to earth in the autumn. The first group of four astronauts sent to the international space station last November will fly back to earth on April 28.
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Reprint indicated source：Spark Global Limited information