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Tue, Aug 15, 2023

NASA SpaceX Crew-7 Personnel Commence Pre-Flight Preparations

Loneliness of the Long Distance Flier

On Friday, 18 August 2023, crew-members slated to ascend spaceward aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission will enter the requisite period of quarantine by which spaceflight is preceded—thereby attaining a pre-launch milestone.

Upon completion of the ordeal—to which NASA has ascribed the pleasing euphemism health stabilization—the four crew-members will head to the Florida launch-site from which the mission will depart for the International Space Station (ISS).

The process of flight crew health stabilization comprises a compulsory two-week quarantine period intended to ensure spacefarers are healthy prior to blasting into Earth orbit, where medical resources are limited. In addition to ensuring crew fitness, the quarantine period precludes—for the most part—the carriage of transmissible pathogens to the ISS and personnel living and working therein.

During the quarantine period, contact with outside individuals is carefully limited for purpose of avoiding the transference of communicable diseases—syphilis, for example. Family members and some launch and flight team members are cleared to interact with crew-members during quarantine. Most interactions, however, are conducted remotely.

Assigned to NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 are mission commander and NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, pilot and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, and mission specialists Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov.

The aforementioned individuals will be borne aloft aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule dubbed Endurance—the selfsame spacecraft by which the Crew-3 and Crew-5 mission personnel were conducted safely to and from the ISS.

Earlier this month, the Crew-7 members visited NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where they were afforded a close-up look of the spacecraft in which they will presently depart for the ISS.

Gathered at SpaceX’s refurbishment facility at Cape Canaveral’s Space Force Station, the four crew-members donned their flight-suits, entered the spacecraft, performed leak checks, and completed communications checkouts. While inside the Dragon spacecraft, the Crew-7 personnel were familiarized with the normal operational sights and sounds of the vessel’s systems.

The Crew-7 members also undertook a familiarization tour of Launch Complex 39A, during which they completed emergency training germane to the coming mission, and even rode the elevator to the top of the service-structure to enjoy an early-morning view of the Cape.

The Crew-7 mission is targeted to launch from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A no earlier than 03:49 EDT on Friday, 25 August.

Falling under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the Crew-7 mission marks the eighth human spaceflight mission supported by a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, and NASA’s seventh crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020.



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