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4 new astronauts head to International Space Station for 6-month stay



NEW DELHI: A team of four astronauts is on their way to the International Space Station (ISS) to oversee the arrival of two new rocketships during their six-month mission.
These astronauts include Nasa’s Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, along with Russia’s Alexander Grebenkin. They are expected to reach the ISS on Tuesday. This new crew will be replacing the current crew, consisting of members from the US, Denmark, Japan, and Russia, who have been on the space station since August.
Earlier today, SpaceX and Nasa on March 3 successfully launched their joint Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station from the Nasa Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
During their six-month stay on the ISS, the new crew will witness the arrival of two rocketships ordered by Nasa. Boeing’s Starliner capsule, with test pilots, is scheduled to arrive in late April. Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser, a mini shuttle, is expected to follow a month or two later, but it will only be delivering cargo, not passengers.
Matthew, a navy pilot, will serve as commander for Crew-8, his first spaceflight, after being selected as an astronaut by Nasa in 2017. He is from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in systems engineering .
Michael Barratt is the Crew-8 pilot, making his third visit to the International Space Station. In 2009, Barratt served as a flight engineer for Expeditions 19/20 as the station transitioned its standard crew complement from three to six and performed two spacewalks. will become the oldest full-time astronaut to fly in space when he turns 65 in April.
Jeanette Epps, an engineer and the second Black woman assigned to a long mission on the station, was originally supposed to fly on Boeing’s Starliner. However, due to various problems, Nasa switched her to SpaceX. Epps sees herself as a role model for Black girls, showing them that spaceflight is an option for anyone.
And Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, who graduated from Irkutsk High Military Aviation School, Irkutsk, Russia, majoring in engineering, maintenance, and repair of aircraft radio navigation systems, also is flying on his first mission.
As the new crew settles into their half-year stint on the ISS, they will be responsible for overseeing the arrivals of the new rocketships and conducting various scientific experiments during their time in space.


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