Falcon 9 booster with crew Dragon spaceship launched from Florida to ISS

Washington, Mar 4 (FN Agency) The Falcon 9 booster carrying the Crew Dragon spaceship with an international team on board has been successfully launched from Florida and is currently heading to the International Space Station (ISS), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on Monday. “We have liftoff! Three first-time fliers and a veteran are en route to the Space Station. Separation confirmed: Crew 8 is now cruising to its destination, where they will conduct research to benefit humanity. Projects include studying how to improve human health in space. Docking at the Space Station is targeted for 3 a.m. ET (0800 UTC) [8:00 GMT] on March 5,” NASA wrote on X.

The mission started at 03:53 GMT on Sunday. The launch was initially scheduled for February but was put off several times. The previous attempt was cancelled on Saturday due to bad weather conditions. The crew, which includes US astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, as well as Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, is expected to spend about six months in orbit. The Russian cosmonaut is participating in the mission as part of an agreement sealed between Russian state space corporation Roscosmos and NASA. Under the deal, one US astronaut travels to the ISS with a Russian crew, and vice versa, one Russian cosmonaut travels to orbit with a US crew. The practice was launched in September 2022 and is valid through the end of 2025, with the possibility of further extension.