NASA ESA Crew-3 Astronauts Dock at Space Station with SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance

NASA ESA Crew-3 Astronauts Dock at Space Station with SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance
The newly enlarged Expedition 66 crew of seven poses for a photo after SpaceX Crew-3’s arrival to station with four new astronauts from the US and Germany on Nov.11, 2021 after blastoff from the Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 10 at 9:03 p.m. ET. Credit: NASA TV

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  One day after a cloud obscured but nevertheless stunning nighttime blastoff from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) the four multinational German and American astronauts on the NASA, ESA Crew-3 mission safely and successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday evening, Nov. 11 gliding into port aboard SpaceX’s commercial Crew Dragon Endeavour spaceship on its inaugural flight – kicking off a half year science mission at the orbiting microgravity research outpost as members of the newly enlarged Expedition 66.

Clearly eager to begin their weather delayed stay in space the NASA ESA SpaceX Crew-3 astronaut quartet docked to the ISS at 6:32 p.m. EST (2332 GMT) Thursday, Nov. 11, over 30 minutes ahead of schedule – and less than 24 hours after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer from Germany opened the hatch of their Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance at 8:25 p.m.

They floated through the opening one by one led by NASA mission specialist Kayla Barron, to exuberant bear hugs, high fives and thumbs up with the trio of Russian and American crew members already on board and then participated in a welcome ceremony with their new Expedition 66 crewmates at 9 p.m.

Crew-3 were welcomed by fellow NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos – who all previously arrived on Russian Soyuz capsules.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am to see these smiling faces,” said NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei welcoming Crew-3. “Every one of us, all seven of us are friends, and we’re going to become even better friends as time goes on. And we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

“At this moment, we’ve got 60 experiments in progress, and of course by the time we finish our time up here, we’ll have participated in many more. We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of exciting times coming up.”

Mark Vande Hei is about halfway through his planned nearly year long stay on board the orbiting microgravity research lab.

NASA and ESA officials also participated in the welcome ceremony from Earth – namely Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations, NASA and Josef Aschbacher, ESA director-general.

Crew Dragon Endurance – flying on its maiden mission – performed flawlessly and  docked autonomously to the orbital complex  at the forward port of the station’s Harmony module while the spacecrafts were flying 260 miles (400 km) above the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday, Nov. 11.

The entire rendezvous, docking, hatch opening and welcome ceremony were broadcast live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website – providing ongoing live coverage to welcome the new crew aboard the orbital outpost.

The Crew-3 astronauts are the third crew to fly a full-duration six-month long science mission to the orbiting laboratory on a SpaceX Crew Dragon, the fourth to the station and the 5th human spaceflight overall on a SpaceX Crew Dragon over the past 18 months.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance docked with the International Space Station, on Nov. 11, 2021 carrying Crew-3 quartet of astronauts from US and Germany. Credit: NASA TV

Crew-3 is scheduled to remain on board the ISS until April 2022 when they will be replaced by the Crew-4 team of four new astronauts.

Nov. 11, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and Progress 78 and 79 resupply ships. Credit: NASA

Watch this cool video tour from inside Crew Dragon Endurance given by the four Crew-3 astronauts

Watch Kayla Barron show off the Zero-G indicator – named Pfau!

“We want to introduce our zero-g indicator, ‘Pfau’ — that’s German for ‘peacock.’ We chose Pfau to be our zero-g indicator because Raj and I are both from the class called “The Turtles,” and we’re excited to represent our class in space. Tom Marshburn is a ‘Peacock,’ so to get everybody on board we picked a peacock turtle — you’ll notice she’s peacock colored — and we named her Pfau, which is German for peacock,” said Barron.

Marshburn’s astronaut class was nicknamed ‘The Peacocks’ – from NASA’s 19th astronaut class chosen in 2004.

They chose the German word name ‘Pfau’ to honor German astronaut Matthias Maurer – a member of Crew-3 from the European Space Agency.

After multiple postponements for poor weather and a ‘minor medical issue’ affecting one of the four multinational crew members, the NASA, ESA SpaceX Crew-3 mission streaked to orbit during a spectacular nighttime launch of US and German astronauts beginning a half year science mission to the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday evening, Nov. 10 – but only after threatening rain storms that drenched the Kennedy Space Center barely an hour before liftoff added even more unneeded last minute drama and thankfully moved off shore in time.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon Endurance streaks to orbit on NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station after liftoff at 9:03 p.m. from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021 – in this long duration exposure single image taken with fisheye lens. Multinational crew aboard Crew Dragon are SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts Raja Chari, commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; along with Matthias Maurer, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and mission specialist. Falcon 9 darted in and out of thick clouds before disappearing quickly behind them. Bracketed by VAB (l) & Countdown Clock + water reflecting US/Crew3 flags flagpole (r). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The SpaceX Falcon 9 darted in and out of thick clouds before disappearing quickly behind them on the roadway to the ISS delighting spectators ringing the Space Coast with a stunning and thrilling sky show.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission lifted off at launch 9:03 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 10 (0203 GMT on Nov. 11), on a 22-story tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket integrated with the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance commercial crew astronaut ferry ship to the orbiting ISS microgravity  research laboratory from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon Endurance soars to orbit on NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station after liftoff at 9:03 p.m. from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon Endurance soared off pad 39A on a northeasterly trajectory along the US East Coast inclined 51 degrees to the equator flying flawlessly bound for rendezvous and docking with the ISS some 22 hours later on Veteran’s Day, Thursday evening, Nov. 11.

The Crew-3 astronauts will spend approximately six months aboard the space station conducting new and exciting scientific research in areas such as materials science, health technologies, and plant science to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth.

Liftoff of multinational German and American astronauts flying on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission had been delayed by minor medical issues and poor offshore weather to Nov. 10, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The quartet participated in a media event after arriving at KSC on Oct. 26, 2021. From left is ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Mission Specialist Matthias Maurer of Germany, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, pilot, Spacecraft Commander Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

 

Maurer’s mission is named Cosmic Kiss. The mission’s name “is a declaration of love for space, for the Space Station as a link between humanity and the cosmos and for what people there do and will do in the future. At the same time, it stands for the value of exploring space in partnership, and for the respectful and sustainable treatment of Earth.”

Cosmic Kiss is theme name for flight of German astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA who will become the 600th person to reach space during the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission. Patch held high between VAB and US and Crew-3 flags flying on flag pole beside world famous Countdown Clock displaying portraits of Crew-3 astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A Press Site in Florida. Launch targeting Nov. 10 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Visit the Cosmic Kiss mission page to learn more about Matthias’s mission.

German astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA will become the 600th person to reach space during the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission – with the theme name Cosmic Kiss. Maurer meets the media along with his NASA crew mates during the Oct. 26, 2021 astronaut arrival event at KSC ahead of liftoff Nov. 10. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The 51-year old Maurer, born in the German state of Saarland in Sanky Wendel, will conduct over 100 experiments – including 36 with involvement from German researchers in a range of diverse fields including biology life sciences, materials science, physics, biology, medicine and Earth observation.

 

 

 

The official portrait of the seven-member Expedition 66 crew. From left are, NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer; Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov; and NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Mark Vande Hei. Credit: NASA/ESA/Roscosmos

 

Ken post launch comments about Crew-3 were featured on local ABC, NBC and Fox TV News outlets in Orlando on Nov. 10 & 11:

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/crew-3-set-dock-iss-ahead-schedule/WTWJDQPWPVCKZIRHW6Y7QMNCOY/

https://www.wesh.com/article/crew-3-launch-wednesday/38212223

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose interviewed by WESH 2 NBC News Orlando about Crew-2 and Crew-3 missions

Ken’s prelaunch comments about the Crew-2 & Crew-3 missions were featured on local CBS, NBC and Fox TV News outlets in Orlando:

Nov. 8 & 9 broadcasts on WESH 2 NBC and Fox 35:

https://www.wesh.com/article/crew-2-splashdown-monday/38192367

https://www.fox35orlando.com/video/999350

 

Nov. 5 broadcast on WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News:

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/11/05/spacex-nasa-weigh-astronaut-rotation-schedule-as-bad-weather-continues-launch-delay/

Ken’s photos of the static fire test were featured on WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News

CBS 6 Orlando WKMG features static fire test photos for NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission taken at 1 a.m. Oct. 28, 2021, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission launch Nov 10, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Ken is onsite at KSC for the Crew-3 mission launch campaign

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose onsite at KSC covering the Crew-2 and Crew-3 missions

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, SpaceX  Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Please consider supporting Ken’s work by purchasing his photos and/or donating at Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon Endurance soars to orbit on NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station after liftoff at 9:03 p.m. from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021 – with flames reflecting in turn basin waters. Multinational crew aboard Crew-3 are astronauts Raja Chari, commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; along with Matthias Maurer, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and mission specialist. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon poised for liftoff on Crew-3 mission at 9:03 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to the International Space Station. Crew 3 astronauts comprise ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer of Germany, and NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Spacecraft Commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

ISS Expedition 66

 

 

SpaceX Crew-3 patch

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Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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