FILE PHOTO: NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission, including NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, Emirati Sultan Al-Neyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, walks to the launch pad before lifting off to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 1, 2023. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

By Steve Gorman

March 3 (Reuters) – A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule arrived safely at the International Space Station (ISS) early on Friday, carrying two American astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, to begin a six-day science mission month

The autonomous flight craft, dubbed Endeavour, docked with the space station shortly after 1:40 a.m. Friday (0640 GMT), nearly 25 hours after its launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cabo Canaveral, Florida.

The docking was confirmed as the ISS and the capsule flew in tandem at 28,164 kilometers per hour about 240 km above Earth along the coast of East Africa, according to a broadcast. live from the meeting by NASA.

The four-member team has been tasked with performing more than 200 experiments and technology demonstrations aboard the space station, ranging from research on growing human cells in space to monitoring combustible materials in microgravity.

Some of the research will help pave the way for future long-duration human expeditions to the Moon and beyond, as part of NASA’s Artemis program, the successor to Apollo, the US space agency said.

The ISS crew is also responsible for performing maintenance and repairs on board the station, and preparing for the arrival and departure of other astronauts and payloads.

Designated Crew 6, the mission marks the sixth long-duration ISS crew that SpaceX has flown for NASA since the private rocket company founded by billionaire Elon Musk began sending American astronauts into orbit in May 2020. Musk is the CEO of the electric car maker. Tesla and the social media platform Twitter.

Crew 6 will be welcomed aboard the space station by seven current occupants of the ISS: three NASA crew members, including Commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, the first Native American woman to fly in space, as well as three Russians and a Japanese astronaut.

These seven are expected to complete their mission and leave the space station this month. Cuatro regresarán in the SpaceX Dragon ship that will be in orbit in October, y otros tres volverán a casa in a rusa ship Soyuz that flew vacía a la ISS la semana pasada para sustituir a otra que sufrió una fuga de refrigerant mientras estaba acoplada a la station in December.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing in Spanish by Flora Gómez)

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