The second Iranian-American in space will join a full international crew preparing for launch Friday (August 25).
The SpaceX Crew-7 mission will be launched to the International Space Station no later than Friday (25 August) at 3:50 a.m EDT (0750 GMT) And you can Watch live here On Space.com, via live broadcast from NASA TV. Broadcast will begin Thursday (24 August) It’s 11:45 p.m. EST (0345 GMT Friday, August 25).
A backup launch opportunity is available at 3:27 AM (0727 GMT) on Saturday (August 26) should technical or weather issues arise.
NASA officials said Crew-7 passed its flight readiness review without any major issues Late night update Thursday (24 August). Weather conditions also look good at launch, with only a 15% chance of violating weather restrictions. According to Patrick’s Force Space Force rulewhich manages airspace in the area of the launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Four astronauts will go into space to participate in Missions 69/70: NASA astronaut Yasmine Moqbali, the second Iranian-American in space; European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and astronaut Satoshi Furukawa; and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
Related: SpaceX’s Crew-7 mission will launch an international crew to the International Space Station
It has been nearly two decades since an Iranian-American has flown into space; The first such person was space tourist Anousheh Ansari, who funded her own mission to the International Space Station in 2006.
“I think that’s important,” Moqbley told Space.com of her achievement aboard Crew-7, in a video interview before the launch on July 25 from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “I think people really – especially young people – when they can relate to someone, it really makes them believe they can do something too.
“And so anytime we add diversity to who is flying in space. I think we’re opening the door for future generations, for more people to believe they can do that too,” Moqbeli added.
The Mokbelis, by the way, celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, which will take place over about 190 days in space. She’s planning a felt menorah for Hanukkah. In July, she said she was considering making latkes, the potato pancakes traditionally eaten at Hanukkah, while on the International Space Station.
Related: Meet the SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts who will blast off to the International Space Station on August 25
Mogensen will be on his second mission in space after the Soyuz spacecraft’s 10-day mission to the International Space Station in 2016, making him the first Danish person to travel to space. In the intervening period, there has been tremendous progress from SpaceX, which began flying operational commercial crew missions on behalf of NASA in 2020 while continuing to fly cargo deliveries on the uncrewed version of Dragon since 2010.
NASA-funded missions by SpaceX carry astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a fully reusable Crew Dragon spacecraft and a partially reusable Falcon 9 rocket, whose first-stage rockets return to Earth on their own for landing on an unmanned ship or on Earth.
“What SpaceX has done in the last 10 years or so has been amazing. And it’s been fun working with them,” Mogensen said in another pre-launch interview on July 25 with Space.com. “They’ve come an incredibly long way, and it’s really gratifying to see how much they’ve achieved and how much they’ve changed human spaceflight, when it comes to reuse.”
Related: How many astronauts can fly on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule?
Furukawa, who also went into space in 2016 on Expeditions 28 and 29, said he already knows what he’s going to miss on Earth. “I really miss walking in the green woods because on the space station I really miss the green colors,” he said in another pre-launch interview on July 25.
He said that from space, astronauts can see blue earth, or brown desert, but it’s a little hard to spot green. Furukawa then turned to technology to bridge the gap. “I tried to watch a video of the forest, and it was a strange feeling,” he said. “I really miss the green a lot more than I expected.”
On his first flight, Borisov said that among the 2.5 hours of exercise that astronauts perform a day, he hopes to incorporate his favorite yoga into the routine. But how to do it without gravity would be tricky: “I know what to do with the breath,” he said on July 25, referring to a popular tool yogis use for stretching or difficult poses.
But in weightlessness, he’ll have to find his own way, as few other astronauts have tried yoga except for Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency. He added that a typical video clip shot using Earth’s gravity would not serve as useful evidence in the absence of that force.
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