SpaceX’s Crew-5 arrives at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of next launch

The crew has arrived!

Astronauts for SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday ahead of their scheduled launch on Wednesday, October 5 at noon. The launch was delayed due to Hurricane Ian.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan Space Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina prepared for launch at Johnson Space Center in Houston during the final weeks before to fly to Florida to take off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

There are several reasons why this particular crewed mission is unique. Mann, the commander of Crew-5, and pilot Cassada were both previously assigned to fly on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, the second spacecraft selected by NASA under the Commercial Crew Program to fly astronauts to and from the ISS. Starliner completed its last uncrewed test earlier this year, but has yet to ferry astronauts to the space station.

This will be the first time in space for all but one of the Crew-5 astronauts. Japan’s Koichi has spent more than 347 days in space since his spaceflights on two Soyuz missions and the space shuttle Endeavour.

The four members of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission pose for a portrait in their Crew Dragon flight suits at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. From left to right, Mission Specialist Anna Kikina of Roscosmos; Pilot Josh Cassada and Commander Nicole

For the first time since SpaceX began launching NASA astronauts from US soil in 2020, the Russian Space Agency and NASA have swapped seats aboard the commercial spacecraft. Kikina will be the first cosmonaut to fly with SpaceX. The Crew-5 member will also be the second female cosmonaut to take off from Florida. In 1997, Russian cosmonaut Yelena V. Kondakova launched on NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis.

Liftoff is scheduled for is scheduled for noon EDT, Wednesday, October 5, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, is scheduled to dock with the space station at 4:57 p.m. EDT on Thursday, October 6. You can watch the launch live at or in the FOX 35 News app.

FOX Weather contributed to this report.

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