NASA has confirmed that it will send its new SpaceX Dragon crew vehicle to the International Space Station this spring and that UC San Diego graduate Megan McArthur will pilot the ship.
The space agency says the vehicle, which also carries cargo, will not launch until April 20. But it is likely that he will depart soon after that date with a crew including fellow NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who will serve as commander.
The crew also includes two other astronauts: Akihiko Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency.
NASA is in the midst of an important transition. For years, the agency has had to rely on Russian vehicles to move American astronauts back and forth between Earth and the space station. NASA has contracted with SpaceX to develop Dragon, which serves the station; he brought astronauts there for the first time in 2020.
McArthur, 49, will be making his second trip to space. She was a crew member of Shuttle Atlantis in 2009, when she performed final maintenance on the Hubble Space Telescope. She used the shuttle robotic arm to capture the telescope and helped put the spacewalk crew members into space …
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