Washington [US], December 15 (ANI): The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the European Space Agency (ESA) select three astronauts to serve as crew members for the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which is expected to be launched in autumn of 2021.
According to NASA, the trio will consist of its astronauts Raja Chari, a colonel of the Indian-American Air Force, and Tom Marshburn, who will serve as commander and pilot, respectively, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a specialist mission. A fourth crew member will be added at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners.
This will be the first space flight for Chari, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017. He was born in Milwaukee, but considers Cedar Falls, Iowa, his hometown. He is a colonel in the US Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours in his career. Chari was selected earlier this month as a member of the Artemis team and is now eligible for assignment in a future monthly mission.
Marshburn, originally from Statesville, North Carolina, became an astronaut in 2004. Prior to serving in the astronaut corps, the physician worked as a flight surgeon at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and later became chief of medical operations for the Space Station. International. “The Crew-3 mission will be its third visit to the space station and its second long-term mission. Marshburn previously served as a member of the STS-127 crew in 2009 and the 34/35 Expedition, which ended in 2013,” NASA said. said.
Maurer comes from Sankt Wendel, in the German state of Saarland. Like Chari, Maurer will make his first space trip with the Crew-3 mission. In 2016, Maurer spent 16 days on an underwater mission as part of NASA Mission Extreme Environment Operations or NEEMO, a space analog.
When Chari, Marshburn and Maurer arrive at the orbit lab, they will become members of the expedition crew during their six-month stay. “The crew will have a slight overlap with the Crew-2 astronauts, who are expected to launch in the spring of 2021. This will not be the first commercial mission of the crew to overlap. Crew-1 astronauts, who are currently in the station, and Crew-2 astronauts are also expected to coincide in their stay for a short time. The increase in the total number of astronauts on board the station allows the agency to increase the number of scientific investigations carried out in the unique microgravity environment. be the third crew rotation mission in the SpaceX human space transportation system and the fourth astronaut flight, including test flight Demo-2, to the space station through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The goal of the program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective access to the crew’s space station and low Earth orbit in partnership with the US aerospace industry.
Moreover, the station is a critical test bed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-term spaceflight. (YEARS)