NASA, ESA selects three astronauts for the SpaceX Crew-3 mission

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

According to NASA, the trio will consist of its astronauts Raja Chari, an Indian-American colonel in the U.S. Air Force, 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 at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners.

This will be the first space flight 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 United States Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has amassed more than 2,500 flying hours in his career. Chari was selected earlier this month as a member of the Artemis team and is now eligible for assignment to a future lunar mission.

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

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

When Chari, Marshburn and Maurer arrive at the orbiting laboratory, they will become members of the expedition’s crew for the duration of their six-month stay. “The crew will have a slight overlap with the crew-2 astronauts, which are expected to be launched in spring 2021. This will not be the first commercial crew mission to overlap. The crew-1 astronauts, who are currently on the station, and the astronauts of crew-2, moreover, are expected to coincide in their stays for a short time. The increase in the total number of astronauts aboard the station is allowing the agency to increase the number of scientific investigations conducted in the unique microgravity environment “. to be the third crew rotation mission of SpaceX’s human space transport system and its fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, to the space station through NASA’s commercial crew program. The goal of the program is to provide the crew with safe, reliable and affordable access to the space station and low earth orbit in partnership with the American aerospace industry.

Additionally, the station is a critical test bed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration space flight. (ANI)