Crew-2 mission: Meet the 4 astronauts set to lift off from the Space Coast

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Four astronauts are set to lift off aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft Friday morning.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission is a “go” for launch to the International Space Station. The mission is set to blast off from the Space Coast at 5:49 a.m. Friday.

It was originally scheduled for Thursday but NASA and SpaceX rescheduled it due to “unfavorable weather conditions.”

READ: Crew-2 mission: NASA, SpaceX reschedule launch due to ‘unfavorable weather conditions’

It will be the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The astronauts who will board the Crew Dragon are NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Kimbrough will serve as the spacecraft commander and McArthur will be the pilot for the mission. Hoshide and Pesquet will join as mission specialists.

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Here’s what we know about the astronauts:

Shane Kimbrough

According to NASA, this will be Kimbrough’s third trip to space and his second long-duration stay at the space station.

Kimbrough was born in Killeen, Texas, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004.

His first launch was in 2008. He boarded space shuttle Endeavour for a visit to the station on the STS-126 mission.

NASA said Kimbrough has spent a total of 189 days in space, and performed six spacewalks. He is also a retired U.S. Army colonel.

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Megan McArthur

McArthur will be making her second trip to space, but her first to the International Space Station, NASA said.

She was born in Honolulu but considers California to be her home state.

McArthur was selected as an astronaut in 2000. In her first mission, she was launched on space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, in 2009.

She operated the shuttle’s robotic arm over the course of the 12 days and 21 hours she spent in space, capturing the telescope and moving crew members during the five spacewalks needed to repair and upgrade it, according to NASA.

Akihiko Hoshide

This will be Hoshide’s third space flight, NASA said. He is a member of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

He was part of the TS-124 mission aboard space shuttle Discovery in 2008 and a crew member for Expeditions 32 and 33, launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2012.

He’s spent over 100 days at the International Space Station.

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Thomas Pesquet

Pesquet was previously a crew member on Expeditions 50 and 51. He is a member of the European Space Agency.

He was launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and has spent 196 days in space.

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The Crew-2 astronauts will join the other members of Expedition 65, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, for a six-month mission to conduct science experiments in low-Earth orbit, according to NASA.

Channel 9 will be livestreaming the launch when it happens on air and on its website.

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Katlyn Brieskorn,

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.