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NASA, SpaceX target April for Crew-2 mission sending the next round of astronauts to space

The second commercial crew rotation will take the four-person crew to the International Space Station.
Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The next round of astronauts making their way to the International Space Station will once again launch from an American rocket on U.S. soil. 

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 6:11 a.m. on April 22 for the second crew rotation mission aboard the Crew Dragon. The spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's historic Launch Complex 39A.

According to a press release, a Flight Readiness Review on April 15 will either formally solidify or adjust the launch date. 

Crew-2 will be the first mission to fly two international partner crew members under the agency's Commercial Crew Program, according to a press release.

"It's the first time in over 20 years that a crew from NASA, ESA, and JAXA have flown together," astronaut Shane Kimbrough added.

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will respectively be the spacecraft's commander and pilot while JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join the team as mission specialists. 

"The crew is scheduled for a long-duration stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew," NASA wrote.

Crew-2's arrival at the International Space Station is expected to overlap with the stay of the Crew-1 mission astronauts aboard the orbiting laboratory.

"We've been really intensively training for about a year together, and individually, and we're really looking forward to that moment where the mission actually begins," McArthur said.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi are targeting an April 28 return to Earth. NASA estimates the spacecraft will splash down around 12:35 p.m. off the coast of Florida.

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