Good morning and welcome to live coverage of today’s NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 launch – a science expedition mission to the International Space Station. Crew-5 marks the fifth crew rotation mission of SpaceX’s human space transportation system, and its sixth flight with astronauts, to the space station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Here at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped by the company’s Dragon spacecraft, awaits liftoff, targeted for noon EDT today, Oct. 5. NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and Mission Specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina will fly to the space station after launching from Kennedy’s historic Launch Complex 39A.
The Crew-5 crew members will arrive at the space station for a short handover period with astronauts from the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission. Crew-4 Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti will depart the microgravity laboratory for a splashdown off the coast of Florida later this month, completing a long-duration stay on the space station.
Today’s launch is proceeding according to schedule. At the Florida spaceport’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, the astronauts will undergo medical checks and get a weather briefing before suiting up.
The crew will fly to the space station in Dragon Endurance, which previously flew NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to and from the orbiting laboratory. Stay with us as the countdown continues; we’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this important mission. Starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT today, there will be a live broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.