Countdown to launch: Here is what the Crew-6 mission will mean for space exploration

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In a matter of hours, NASA and SpaceX will launch their next crewed mission to the International Space Station.


Three astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are set to liftoff on a six-month science mission from the Kennedy Space Center at 1:45 a.m. Monday.

This mission is under NASA’s commercial crew program.

Veteran NASA astronaut Steven Bowen will command the mission, but it will be the first flight for the rest of the crew.

Read: Happening overnight: NASA, SpaceX to launch 4 astronauts to ISS as part of its Crew-6 mission

United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev and NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg will join Bowen.

“I’m looking forward to going around and telling the story of our mission afterward,” Hoburg said.

The crew will spend up to six months on the ISS conducting maintenance activities, technology demonstrations and performing science investigations to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.

Read: NASA, SpaceX complete rehearsals for Crew-6 launch to International Space Station

During their time aboard the stations, Crew-6 is expected to welcome Axiom’s second private astronaut mission to the space station.

Boeing’s crew flight test astronauts, who plan to demonstrate the company’s Starliner spacecraft, are ready to transport the crew to the ISS.

Jessica Parsons, CFT mission manager of NASA’s commercial crew program, said safety is their utmost priority.

Read: NASA sets date for SpaceX Crew-6 launch to International Space Station

“There is a lot of traffic,” Parsons said. “There’s never a dull moment in the commercial crew program.”

Several days after Crew-6′s arrival, the Crew-5 astronauts who launched last October will undock from the space station and splash down off the coast of Florida.

This launch has an instantaneous launch window, but there is a backup date.

Weather conditions seem to be favorable at Kennedy Space Center.

But teams also have to watch the weather downrange in case there needs to be an emergency abort and the crew needs to splash down.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.