Earlier today, SpaceX Crew-5 successfully departed from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on their way to the International Space Station (ISS). The four members on this flight are NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina. The population of the ISS will increase to 11 until 3 astronauts return to Earth a few days later.
Here is NASA’s bio on the new crew members:
- As commander, Mann is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry, and will serve as an Expedition 68 flight engineer. This will be her first spaceflight since becoming an astronaut in 2013. Mann was born in Petaluma, California, and will be the first indigenous woman from NASA in space. She is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, and she served as a test pilot in the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet.
- Cassada is the spacecraft pilot and second in command for the mission. He is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. Aboard the station, he will serve as an Expedition 68 flight engineer. This will be his first flight since his selection as an astronaut in 2013. Cassada grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and is a physicist and U.S. Navy test pilot.
- Wakata will be making his fifth trip to space and as a mission specialist he will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. Once aboard the station, he will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 68. With Crew-5’s launch, Dragon will be the third different type of spacecraft Wakata has flown to space.
- Kikina will be making her first trip to space, and will serve as a mission specialist, working to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. She will be a flight engineer for Expedition 68.