The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying Crew-2 mission astronauts on their way to the International Space Station has safely reached orbit. The press service of NASA reported this.
It is noted that Crew Dragon successfully lifted off from the second stage and entered an intermediate orbit at an altitude of 201 km above the Earth at a speed of 26,998 km / h in 12 minutes and 7 seconds after launch.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with Crew Dragon atop, was lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
About four hours before the launch, the astronauts, with the help of technicians in charge of equipment, were dressed in spacesuits. After that, the crew members sat in the models of seats installed on the ship, allowing the technical staff to make final adjustments. And then, the crew met the head of SpaceX Elon Musk and NASA Active Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
Automatic docking to the ISS is scheduled for about 5:10 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, April 24. The Crew-2 members will conduct science and maintenance during a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory and will return no earlier than Oct. 31. Adding more crew members aboard the microgravity laboratory increases the time available for scientific activities.
As it was reported earlier, a Starship prototype (SN9), a spacecraft developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX, exploded during a test flight in Cameron County, Texas.