NASA, ESA selects three astronauts for SpaceX Crew-3 Mission

Washington [US], Dec. 15 (ANI): The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the European Space Agency (ESA) have selected three astronauts to serve as crew for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which is expected to launch in the fall. of 2021.

According to NASA, the trio will consist of its astronauts Raja Chari, an Indian-American Air Force colonel, and Tom Marshburn, who will serve as commander and pilot, respectively, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission. specialist. A fourth crew member will be added later, following a review by NASA and its international partners.

This will be the first space trip 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 U.S. Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time in his career. Chari was selected earlier this month as a member of the Artemis Team and is now eligible to be assigned to a future lunar mission.

Marshburn is a native of Statesville, North Carolina, who became an astronaut in 2004. Before serving in the astronaut corps, the medical doctor served as a flight surgeon at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and later became a medical operation for the International Space Station. mission Crew-3 will be his third visit to the space station and his second long-term mission, Marshburn previously served as a crew member of STS-127 in 2009 and Expedition 34/35, which ended in 2013, “NASA said.

Maurer comes from Sankt Wendel, in the German state of Saarland. Like Chari, Maurer will make his first trip to space with the Crew-3 mission. In 2016, Maurer spent 16 days on a submarine mission as part of NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO, a space analog.

When Chari, Marshburn and Maurer arrive at the orbiting lab, they will become expeditionary crew members for the duration of their six-month stay. “The crew will slightly overlap with the Crew-2 astronauts, who are expected to launch in the spring of 2021. This will not be the first commercial crew mission to overlap. The Crew-1 astronauts, who are currently on station, and the Crew-2 astronauts as well coincide in their stays for a short time. Increasing the total number of astronauts on the station allows the agency to increase the number of scientific researches conducted in the unique microgravity environment. “This will make it the third crew rotation mission of the human space transportation system. of SpaceX and its fourth flight with astronauts, including the test flight Demo-2, to the space station via NASA’s Merchant Crew Program. The goal of the program is to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective naval access to the space station and low earth orbit in partnership with the U.S. aerospace industry.

Moreover, the station is a critical test bed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-term space travel. (ANI)