Russia launches a cargo flight to the space station, paving the way for a SpaceX crew launch on Friday

Transition from Luna-25 lander crashesRussia launched the Progress cargo ship to the International Space Station on Tuesday, two and a half days before the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule was scheduled to take off from Florida with four crew members bound for the station.

At the start of an exceptionally busy day in space, NASA’s Crew-7s were strapped atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center early Tuesday for an exercise countdown to help pave the way for Friday’s launch aboard the agency’s SpaceX seventh operational ferry flight. . .

The crew of NASA’s upcoming flight to the International Space Station strapped in early Tuesday for an exercise countdown. Left to right: Cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, third Russian to fly the SpaceX Crew Dragon; ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen; Mission Leader Yasmine Mokbly; and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa.


A few hours later, SpaceX engineers at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California launched 21 Starlink internet satellites using the Falcon 9 with the first stage booster on its 15th flight. The satellites were launched to fly on their own about an hour after liftoff, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites launched so far to 4,983.

Meanwhile, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, engineers followed the countdown by test firing the first-stage engines of the booster that will help propel the Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on Friday. Telemetry showed that the booster performed as expected at the last major hurdle before launch.

After the countdown rehearsal and the launch of Starlink, SpaceX fired the first-stage engines of the Crew-7 Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday to verify its readiness for launch. Testing went well and the flight is still on course for take off at 3:50 am on Friday.

William Harwood/CBS News

Russia’s federal space agency Roscosmos then launched the Progress MS-24/85P cargo spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:08 p.m. EDT.

As the space station’s Progress chases, India’s robotic probe Chandrayaan-3 will attempt to land on the moon Wednesday morning US time, four days after Russia’s Luna-25 lander crashed into the lunar surface after a failed rocket launch.

Chandrayaan-3 is the follow-up to a previous Indian moon mission that crashed into the surface in 2019. The Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO, said Tuesday that the spacecraft was running smoothly and ready for landing at 8:34 a.m. Wednesday.

“The mission is on schedule,” the Indian space agency wrote on Twitter. “Systems undergo regular checks. Smooth sailing continues. MOX is full of energy and excitement!”

The Progress vehicle, loaded with 2.7 tons of propellant, water, crew supplies and other equipment, is expected to catch up with the space station on Thursday evening, and move for automatic docking at 11:50 p.m.

The Russians capped off an exceptionally busy day in space by launching a Progress cargo ship loaded with 2.7 tons of supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station.

NASA / Roscosmos

Four hours later, at 3:50 a.m. Friday, the SpaceX Crew-7 mission is scheduled to lift off from historic Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

Crew-7 commander Yasmin Mokbeli, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov replace four other prisms on the station that were launched to the lab last March on another Crew Dragon spacecraft.

After a five-day “handover” to familiarize the replacements with station operations, Crew VI Commander Stephen Bowen, Pilot Woody Hoburgh, Emirati Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, and Cosmonaut Andrei Vediaev will separate and return to Earth to finish the 184-day mission. a task.

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