Watch the highlights of SpaceX’s Crew-5 launch to space station

NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the four Crew-5 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, October 5.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft departed Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on time, at noon.

We're on our way to space!#Crew5 lifted off from @NASAKennedy at noon ET (1600 UTC) and is headed to the @Space_Station for six months of scientific discovery.

— NASA (@NASA) October 5, 2022

Just over eight minutes after launch, the rocket’s first-stage booster made a perfect landing on the Just Read The Instructions drone ship waiting in the ocean, paving way for the rocket to be used again in a future mission.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 5, 2022

Just over 12 minutes after leaving Kennedy, the Crew Dragon capsule successfully separated from Falcon 9’s second stage, setting the astronauts on course for the space station.

Dragon, fly!@SpaceX's Endurance spacecraft has separated from its Falcon 9 rocket and is on its way to the @Space_Station. Follow our #Crew5 blog for the latest mission updates:

— NASA (@NASA) October 5, 2022

Finally, here’s some footage from inside the capsule as it heads toward the space station. One of the astronauts offers some words about Albert Einstein, a toy version of which acted as the crew’s zero-g indicator so they could see the moment when their spacecraft had reached a microgravity environment a few minutes after launch.

"Imagination encircles the world." —Albert Einstein

The zero-gravity indicator for the #Crew5 mission is revealed to be a toy Einstein. It's used to show when the capsule reaches the weightlessness of microgravity as it circles the globe en route to the @Space_Station.

— NASA (@NASA) October 5, 2022

Crew-5 comprises NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, along with Koichi Wakata of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Anna Kikina of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency.

They’ll arrive at the space station on Thursday afternoon ET, and will spend about four months living and working aboard the space-based laboratory as it orbits at around 250 miles above Earth.

This is the first time in space for Mann, Cassada, and Kikina. Wakata, on the other hand, has plenty of experience, having already been on four orbital missions, the first of which took place in 1996 and the most recent in 2013.

The Crew-5 mission is SpaceX’s eighth crewed flight since the first one in the summer of 2020. The Crew-5 mission is the seventh to the space station. The other crewed flight involved the first-ever all-civilian mission, which stayed in low-Earth orbit for several days without docking at the ISS.

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