Astronauts arrive at Pad for SpaceX flight with used rockets


Cape Canaveral, Florida (AP) — Four astronauts arrived at the launch pad early Friday morning to fly SpaceX to the International Space Station. This is the third voyage for the NASA crew in less than a year.

Two Americans, one French and one Japanese astronaut climbed a white seagull-winged Tesla to ride a rocket. Musk met before the astronauts headed for Pad and wanted them to be well from a safe social distance.

SpaceX aimed for a momentary lift-off at 5:49 am, one hour before sunrise. Good weather was predicted not only at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, but throughout the East Coast in case of a launch cancellation or an emergency splashdown. Due to bad weather, SpaceX skipped Thursday’s attempt.

For the first time, SpaceX used recycled Falcon rockets and dragon capsules to launch its crew. The capsule soared at the launch of the company’s first astronaut last May, and the rocket lifted a second crew member in November.

Spacecraft commander Shane Kimbro and his crew will replace a second group of astronauts returning to Earth with their SpaceX capsules next Wednesday.

Participated in Kimbro for a 6-month space station mission: NASA’s Megamma MacArthur, France’s Tomaspesuke, Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide. Everything has flown in space before.

MacArthur had the same seat in the same capsule that his husband Bob Benken did for the flight of SpaceX’s debut crew. This time he said goodbye to his 7-year-old son outside Tesla. MacArthur kissed and provided a virtual hug from a safe social distance.

Other astronauts’ spouses and children also gathered with Tesla for photography and “love” while Mask and NASA’s deputy administrator Steve Yultsuchik watched from a distance. Due to the pandemic, the crowd was kept to a minimum.

SpaceX has regained room at NASA’s stations after the engine shuttle retired in 2011. SpaceX began supplying the following year.

Boeing, NASA’s other designated taxi service, has no plans to launch astronauts until early next year.

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.