NASA provides first of two briefings for upcoming Crew-3 launch to International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — This weekend, the Crew-3 astronauts will be on Florida’s Space Coast for a critical equipment test ahead of their trip to the International Space Station.

During the first of two briefings before the launch, SpaceX Dragon Mission manager Sarah Walker likened the process to a test drive.

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“The astronauts put on their actual flight suits and climb in their actual flight vehicle that will take them to space in the next few weeks,” Walker said.

Spacecraft commander Raja Chari, Pilot Tom Marshburn, and Mission Specialists Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer are scheduled to launch aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon on October 30th for a six-month mission to the ISS.

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“It’s a very, very exciting time from a human spaceflight perspective with obviously continued flight of our SpaceX Crew Dragon system, bringing on the Starliner Crew system, and our Artemis Demonstration mission for exploration, human spaceflight capabilities,” NASA Associate Administrator Kathryn Lueders said.

NASA also announced astronaut changes for other upcoming commercial crew missions. Astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada have been reassigned to the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the ISS.

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The astronauts were previously assigned to missions on NASA’s Boeing crew flight. Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is still working toward a second un-crewed flight test.

“We really wanted to get Josh and Nicole experience and get them into space as soon as we can,” NASA Commercial Crew Program manager Steve Stich said. “We have not lost confidence in the Boeing team.”

Stich said NASA and Boeing teams will likely have an update on the Starliner’s progress later in the week.

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