NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Launch Day: A Sendoff From Family and Friends

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 crew members wave to family and friends
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crewmates, from left, Anna Kikina, Josh Cassada, Nicole Mann, and Koichi Wakata wave to family, friends, and supporters outside of Kennedy Space Center’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on Oct. 5, 2022. Credit: NASA

NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina are on their way to Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A after departing the Florida spaceport’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. They are right on schedule.

Before leaving, the astronauts paused to recognize loved ones, waving to family, friends, and support team members who gathered to see them off. They then climbed into their customized white Tesla Model X vehicles for the 20-minute ride to the pad.

The crew’s vehicle is traveling in a convoy, including support team members and security personnel. At the launch site, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft Endurance are ready for the astronauts’ arrival.

It is about 3 hours, 15 minutes until liftoff.