Monday, November 29

SpaceX to send four astronauts into space on Halloween

(CNN Español) — SpaceX will celebrate this Halloween with the launch of a third manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS), this would be the fifth space flight mission that SpaceX has carried out since May 2020.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer will take off this Sunday, October 31 at 2:21 a.m. (Miami time) from the Kennedy Space Center in NASA in Florida.

After a journey of approximately 22 hours, according to NASA, the Crew-3 mission astronauts will briefly meet on the ISS with the Crew-2 mission astronauts, who are expected to return to Earth in mid-November.

According to NASA, Dragon will transport more than 180 kilograms of supplies and hardware, including more than 68 kg that will be used for conducting experiments.

The Crew-3 crew will spend six months aboard the ISS, continuing the space station’s 20-year history of hosting astronauts from around the world for scientific research.

Specifically, the Crew-3 astronauts plan to test fiber optic printing, a handheld bioprinter, concrete hardening, and collaborate on some of the more than 200 investigations available on the ISS.

The launch can be seen online starting at 10:00 pm on Saturday on NASA TV and on the agency website.

This is how SpaceX mission lands off the coast of Florida 2:05

SpaceX made repairs before the mission

Prior to this mission, NASA and SpaceX addressed some problems with a key component of the Crew Dragon, a spacecraft that carried four people on the first three-day all-tourist mission to orbit.

The problem was the toilet. According to Jared Isaacman, the commander and financier of the civilian-manned mission told CNN Business last month that an alarm went off during the mission alerting the crew of an unforeseen problem with the toilet fan. Isaacman and his colleagues worked with SpaceX controllers on the ground to troubleshoot problems.

The problem did not cause any serious problems for the Inspiration4 team, nor were there any instances of bodily fluids being released within the capsule.

“There is a storage tank where urine is stored [y] there’s a tube that got disconnected or detached, “said William Gerstenmaier, a former NASA associate administrator who now works as SpaceX’s chief of mission security.” That allowed urine to essentially go not into the storage tank, but into the ventilation system”.

The situation exposes how spacecraft that have performed all the necessary test flights, and that have been vetted and approved – and even completed full missions – may continue to have unforeseen design risks.

Fans are used in spacecraft toilets to create suction and control the flow of urine because, in the microgravity environment of space, debris can and does go in every possible direction.

However, in this particular case, the Inspiration4 crew did not notice any excreta floating around the cabin because the leak was still relegated to the contained areas below the floor, Gerstenmaier said. But when a SpaceX team raised the floor, they confirmed there was “contamination,” he added.

It turns out that another Dragon capsule, used during the Crew-2 mission, which was launched earlier and is still in space is also dealing with a similar leak.

SpaceX modifies the toilet of its ship after this mishap 0:52

CNN’s Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.

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