PIO Raja Chari led NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts to the International Space Station
Washington [US]11 (ANI): NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronaut team led by PIO (person of Indian origin) Raja Chari is in orbit after being launched to the International Space Station on the third commercial crew rotation mission aboard the Microgravity Laboratory.
The international crew of astronauts lifted off at 9:03 p.m. EDT Wednesday from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft with NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and Pyo Raja Chari and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer into orbit to begin a six-month science mission to the space station.
Shari is the captain of the Crew Dragon and Crew-3 spacecraft. He is responsible for all phases of the flight, from launch to return. He will also serve as Flight Engineer for Mission 66 aboard the station. This will be the first spaceflight for Shari, who was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 2017.
He was born in Milwaukee, but considers Cedar Falls, Iowa, his hometown. He is a colonel in the US Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has amassed over 2,500 flying hours during his career.
Marshburn is commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and second in command of the mission. He is responsible for the systems and performance of spacecraft. Once at the station, he will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 66, and is set to take command of Expedition 67. Marshburn is a native of Statesville, North Carolina, and became an astronaut in 2004.
Prior to serving in the Astronaut Corps, the doctor worked as a flight surgeon at NASA Johnson and later became the medical operations commander for the International Space Station. The Crew-3 mission will be his third visit to the space station, after he has flown on three different spacecraft, and his second long-duration mission. Marshburn previously served as a crew member of STS-127 in 2009 while flying on NASA’s space shuttle Endeavor, Expedition 34/35, which ended in 2013, using the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Barron is a Crew-3 mission specialist. You will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and return phases of the flight. Once at the station, she will become a flight engineer for the Expedition 66.
Barron was born in Pocatello, Idaho, but considers Richland, Washington, her hometown. She received her BA in Systems Engineering from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 2010, and her MSc in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge in England in 2011, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar.
Barron earned the qualification of a Submarine Warfare Officer and was deployed three times while serving aboard the USS Maine. Her current rank in the US Navy is Lt Cmdr. At the time of her selection as an astronaut candidate, in 2017, she was serving as a science assistant to the Director of the US Naval Academy. Crew 3 will be Barron’s first spaceflight.
Maurer will also be a Crew-3 mission specialist, working with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during its dynamic launch and return phases. He will also become a long-term member of the space station’s crew. Like Shari and Barron, he will make his first space flight with the Crew-3 mission. Maurer comes from Sankt Wendel in the German state of Saarland. Prior to becoming an astronaut, Maurer held a number of engineering and research positions, both in a university setting and at the European Space Agency.
In 2016, Maurer spent 16 days on an undersea mission as part of the space analog of NASA’s Severe Environment mission operations.
This mission is the first spaceflight for astronauts Shari, Baron and Mauer, and the third for Marshburn. Marshburn is the sixth person to launch from Earth on three different spacecraft.
During the Crew Dragon flight, SpaceX will monitor a series of robotic spacecraft maneuvers from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California, and NASA teams will monitor space station operations throughout the flight from the mission control center at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“With Raja, Thomas, Kayla and Mathias on their way to the International Space Station a few days after the return of Crew-2, we see the power of American ingenuity right before our eyes,” said Nelson.
He added, “NASA’s partnership with SpaceX is essential not only for the latest research, but also for international cooperation. The space station brings together nations around the world for the benefit of all. Godspeed, Crew-3 – I can’t wait to see all that it achieves.” Independent to the station’s Harmony unit front outlet around 7:10 p.m. Thursday, November 11. NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website provide continuous live coverage through the docking, hatch opening, and crew welcome ceremonies aboard the outpost.
“Ensuring our crews have safe transportation and continued access to space is a huge responsibility,” said Steve Stitch, director of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “We know the crew is excited to reach the station and settle into their long-term mission. The NASA and SpaceX team remains vigilant to support their safe arrival and eventual return to Earth.” Shari, Marshburn, Baron and Maurer will join the Expedition 66 crew of NASA astronauts Mark Vandy and Roscosmos astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Piotr Dubrov. Crew-3 is the second mission by a commercial crew led by an ESA astronaut.
“It is always exciting to watch a rocket launch, especially when an international crew of astronauts is sitting on top of it. Matthias Maurer is the second ESA astronaut to be launched into a Crew Dragon spacecraft under the US Commercial Crew Program,” said Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General. European space.
He added, “We are delighted to see him fly alongside NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, continuing a long history of international cooperation in space for the benefit of Earth. On behalf of the European Space Agency, I would like to wish all crew members 3 astronauts on a productive and enjoyable mission.” “Crew-3 astronauts will spend approximately six months aboard the space station conducting exciting new scientific research in areas such as materials science, health technologies and plant sciences to prepare for human exploration beyond low-orbiting Earth and benefit life on Earth.
The Crew-3 mission continues NASA’s efforts to restore and maintain American leadership in human spaceflight. Regular, long-term commercial crew rotation missions enable NASA to continue important research and technical investigations on board the station.
Research like this benefits people on Earth and lays the foundation for future exploration of the Moon and Mars, beginning with the agency’s Artemis missions, which include landing the first woman and person of color on the Moon. (Ani)