KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — After a few delays, four astronauts were launched to the International Space Station in the fourth SpaceX-NASA crew mission on Wednesday evening.

What You Need To Know

  • Crew-3 successfully launched at 9:03 p.m. Wednesday

  • The launch was delayed twice already, for weather and then for a crew member medical issue

  • Astronauts are set to dock at the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday

  • Related: SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endurance: Meet the Crew-3 astronauts

Commander Raja Chari — the first rookie to command a spaceflight since 1973 — pilot Thomas Marshburn and mission specialists Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer — who is the only Crew-3 member to have ever been to space before — were on board the Crew Dragon capsule Endurance for a 9:03 p.m. ET liftoff from Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Wednesday's was an instantaneous launch and if it had to be pushed back, the next available backup chance was set for 8:40 p.m. ET, Thursday, Nov. 11, stated SpaceX.

The 45th Weather Squadron gave an 80% favorable chance for the liftoff of SpaceX’s famed Falcon 9 rocket that is carrying the Endurance into the great beyond and to the International Space Station.

After the stage separation took place, the Falcon 9’s first stage descended to land on the droneship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” in the Atlantic Ocean.

That first stage was previously used for SpaceX’s 22nd re-supply mission to the ISS in June 2021, according to NASA.

Endurance is set to dock on the International Space Station on Thursday.

NASA and SpaceX staff spoke about the upcoming launch on Tuesday and said the four astronauts are ready. 

“They’re excited and they’re ready to go, you know tomorrow wake up, have breakfast, get a weather briefing, get suited up and hopefully go out for a really great launch,” said Chief Flight Director Holly Ridings.

“This November, Nov. 2nd, we celebrate 21 years of continuous human presence onboard the International Space Station,” explained ISS Program Manager Joel Montalbano.

“The past 21 years would not have been possible without the cooperation of our international and commercial partners, and we extend our sincerest gratitude to them. With our teams across the globe, these great accomplishments will continue through our collaboration to ensure we keep exploring for all,” he continued.

The first scheduled Crew-3 launch was scrubbed due to weather on Halloween; then, the next launch was called off because of a crew member’s medical issue.

This third try was successful, following the previous mission Crew-2 splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola on Monday. They were in space for 199 days.

Crew-3 will spend time doing some science experiments to advance research on medicine and other fields, in addition to helping maintain the ISS. They have been trained for spacewalks.

The crew will mark the 600th person in space. They expect to dock at the ISS just after 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, about 22 hours after launch.

They hope to be in orbit for the launch of the James Webb telescope, Hubble’s successor, and for NASA’s new moon rocket, the SLS.

Many people came from all over to see the launch on Wednesday night.


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