NASA on Tuesday announced the astronauts who will board the SpaceX Crew-2 mission and fly to the International Space Station by next spring.
Two of the astronauts are Americans: Shane Kimrose and Megan McArthur. Akihiko Hoshide is from the Aerospace Exploration Agency of Japan, and Thomas Pesquet of France is from the European Space Agency (ESA).
SpaceX made history in late May when it launched NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on the SpaceX Demo-2 test flight mission toward the ISS – the first time astronauts have taken off American Earth since the end of the Space Shuttle program. Exploded. decade ago.
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SpaceX Crew Dragon’s flight was for the first time a private company that sent astronauts into orbit instead of a government. They are scheduled to return to Earth on Sunday.
Behnken, who commanded the Demo-2 mission, married McArthur, who would pilot the Crew-2 mission. Meanwhile, a crew-1 mission is also scheduled to begin in late September.
According to NASA, MacArthur, who was born in Hawaii but calls California his home state, has a prior trip to space under his belt. He launched on a mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009 with the space shuttle Atlantis.
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Kimbrough, a retired Army colonel born in Texas and raised in Atlanta, will be the mission’s spacecraft commander. This will be his third trip to space and a second longer stay at the space station. They have already entered space for 189 days and detonated on board a retired spacecraft Endeavor in 2008 and a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2016.
The Crew-2 mission will be the third spaceflight for Hoshide, which was part of the STS-124 mission at Discovery in 2008 and its recent launch included a 124-day stay in the ISS in 2012.
The youngest member of the crew at the age of 42, Pesket is also the only person who has not yet participated on a mission under the retired American Space Shuttle program. But he has already spent 196 days in space.
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Crew-2 astronauts are expected to remain at the space station for about six months along with three other crew members who will arrive separately on a Russian Soyuz. This makes for a seven-man crew instead of the usual six, which NASA said would allow for more than twice as much research during their stay.
Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.