Four astronauts of Crew-8 mission arrived at the International Space Station

Three NASA astronauts and one Roscosmos cosmonaut of Crew-8 mission have arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:28 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft named Endeavour carried these four astronauts and docked to the station’s Harmony module.

Dragon spacecraft of the Crew-8 mission docked at the Harmony module of the International Space Station
Dragon spacecraft of the Crew-8 mission (Crew-8 Dragon) docked at the Harmony module of the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

Dragon spacecraft was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 10:53 p.m. EST on March 3 (03:53 UTC on March 4), 2024, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Launch of the Crew-8 mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
Launch of the Crew-8 mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which was located atop a Falcon 9 rocket, carried the four astronauts. (Image credit: SpaceX)

NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick is the commander of the Crew-8 mission, and other crew members of the mission are NASA astronaut Michael Barratt (pilot), NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps (mission specialist), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin (mission specialist).

Four astronauts of the Crew-8 mission are sitting inside SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft
Four astronauts of the Crew-8 mission are sitting inside SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft (before launch). (Image credit: SpaceX)

After their arrival, they join the previously present seven space station crew members. So currently, there are 11 crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS). 

Four members of the Crew-8 mission (front row) join the previously present seven space station crew members
Four members of the Crew-8 mission (front row) join the previously present seven space station crew members. (Image credit: NASA TV)

However, the current crew members will decrease to seven again as the Crew-7 members Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Furukawa Satoshi, and Konstantin Borisov will return to Earth shortly, in March 2024 (the date is not scheduled). 

The members of the Crew-8 mission will stay approximately 6 months abroad on the ISS, where they will conduct more than 200 scientific experiments and technology demonstrations.

“Experiments include using stem cells to create organoid models to study degenerative diseases, studying the effects of microgravity and UV radiation on plants at a cellular level, and testing whether wearing pressure cuffs on the legs could prevent fluid shifts and reduce health problems in astronauts,” according to NASA.

The SpaceX Crew-8 mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). For this program, NASA awarded contracts to American private companies to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

It is the eighth operational human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station of SpaceX for NASA. That’s why it’s called the Crew-8 mission.

NASA started the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) to maximize the use of the space station. NASA currently has contracts with two US private companies, Boeing and SpaceX, for this program.

Please remember that the International Space Station (ISS) is a partnership of five space agencies, where astronauts have been living and working continuously for more than 23 years. These five space agencies are NASA (US), Roscosmos (Russia), ESA (Europe), JAXA (Japan), and CSA (Canada).

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Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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