The International Space Station (ISS) welcomed four new astronauts Thursday night.
Traveling inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, SpaceX crew-5 astronauts, nicole mann and Josh Cassada of NASA, Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Anna Kikina of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, docked with the ISS shortly before 5 pm ET.
This is the first space trip for Mann, Cassada and Kikina, while Wakata is now on his fifth orbital mission, a record for a Japanese astronaut.
A couple of hours after connecting with the station 250 miles above Earth, the four crew members entered the orbital outpost where they were greeted by the current inhabitants. First through the hatch was a beaming Nicole Mann, who has become the first Native American woman to go into space.
Welcome to the International Space Station, #Crew5!
The crew, including NASA’s @AstroDukecommander, and @Astro_Josh, pilot, will spend several months aboard the orbiting laboratory, conducting more than 200 experiments. Follow @Space_Station for updates. pic.twitter.com/W2yBybbdyM
— NASA (@NASA) October 6, 2022
The arrival of Crew-5 brings the number of astronauts on the ISS to 11. That’s about five more than normally stay there, but with the installation described by NASA as “bigger than a six-bedroom house,” there’s actually plenty of room on board.
In a week from now, even more space will be available when SpaceX Crew 4 astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti return to Earth after a six-month stay.
On board will remain NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, who arrived together in September 2022.
Later on Thursday, the entire ISS crew gathered to officially welcome the new arrivals.
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) October 7, 2022
Crew-5 will spend the next four months working on more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations in microgravity, while also conducting necessary spacewalks. Regular media interviews and student engagements on Earth will also form an important part of your mission. They will also need to ensure they stay fit during their time in space through a strict exercise regimen, while downtime can be spent taking in the incredible views of Earth far below and enjoying special occasions with other members. of the crew.