'We are ready': SpaceX’s Crew-6 astronaut mission launch for NASA on track

Everything seems to be going according to plan for the Monday launch.
Loukia Papadopoulos
SpaceX Crew-6.jpg

It is looking good for SpaceX's Crew-6 astronaut mission. Liftoff has been set for Monday at 1:45 a.m. EST (0645 GMT), and everything seems to be on track.

This is according to a NASA, and SpaceX prelaunch teleconference held late on Saturday.

Four crewmembers

The mission will have on board four crewmembers: NASA astronauts Warren "Woody" Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, the United Arab Emirates Sultan Al-Neyadi, and Andrey Fedyaev of Russian space agency Roscosmos.

"The crews are doing great. Spirits are high and they are ready to go," NASA's Dana Weigel, deputy ISS program manager, said during the conference.

Benji Reed, senior director of SpaceX's Human Spaceflight Program, added that work was still on the way for the mission to be a success. 

"We will not fly until we're ready. We won't fly until the hardware is ready," said Reed. "We've done multiple reviews, and we'll continue to look at the data, the hardware and ensure that we're ready to fly these great folks and bring them home to their families when it's time."

Brian Cizek, launch weather officer for the U.S. Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron, revealed a 95 percent chance of favorable weather for the planned launch window. "Just a cumulus cloud maybe drifting at the wrong time, but very unlikely," Cizek explained.

Excitement is in the air

At a further press conference held for the crew members, Al-Neyadi expressed his excitement over the upcoming mission. 

"We can't thank everybody enough that helped prepare us for this mission," Al-Neyadi said. "I can't ask for more of a team. I think we are ready physically, mentally, and technically. And we can't wait to launch to space and conduct the mission."

Some 24 hours after launching, Crew Dragon Endeavour will dock with the International Space Station (ISS) early on Tuesday and will depart the space station no earlier than March 6 after a normal five-day handover period.

The mission will achieve many milestones. It will mark SpaceX's ninth overall crewed flight, while Crew-6 will be the fourth crewed flight to the ISS for Crew Dragon Endeavour. 

To prepare for the mission, a Falcon 9 rocket performed a static fire for SpaceX on Friday with its Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule on top. The dress rehearsal was one of the last milestones before the final launch.

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