SpaceX Crew-7 is going to be the seventh crewed operational flight to use the Crew Dragon, named Endurance, to reach the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CPP). The launch will occur from the Space Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The collaboration between the U.S. aerospace industry and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, since 2010, leads to reliable and cost-effective human space flight to the ISS, on spacecraft launched from American soil.
For more than 21 years the space station has been inhabited continuously by astronauts, carrying out scientific research and technological development operations in microgravity, which would therefore not be possible to carry out on earth. Despite the futuristic vision which involves the ISS as a spaceport for commercial missions, it is expected that by 2028 it will be dismantled and put out of service. This is due to the expiration of international agreements and because the modules have almost reached the end of their operational lifespan.
Between this August and September it will be the turn of the astronauts of Expedition 70 (Crew-7 and Sojuz MS-24 missions) to reach the International Space Station. The Endurance spacecraft will carry NASA astronaut and mission commander Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA astronaut and pilot Andreas Mogensen, JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov. The latter two will both be mission specialists on Crew-7.
Their stay on board the ISS will be approximately six months, during which they will conduct scientific research, taking the place of the astronauts of Expedition 69.
Astronaut Andreas Mogensen. This will be his first long-duration mission to the ISS, called Huginn, for which he will be the first non-US pilot on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, leading the way and representing Europe into space. This will also be Mogensen’s second trip to the ISS, having already logged 9 days and 20 hours in space. In 2015, Mogensen became the first Danish person to go to space.
Astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli became a NASA astronaut in 2017. As an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot, she has flown numerous missions for a total of 2,000 hours of flight time. Moghbeli is the Commander of Crew-7, her first space flight, whose work will be to manage all phases of the flight, from launch to reentry. Since 2017 she has studied to become an astronaut and simultaneously worked on developing the lander for the Artemis program.
Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa was selected in 1999 and finished his training in 2001. With a doctorate in medicine, specializing in gastrointestinal surgery, he stood out for his prowess and since 2014 he has been head of JAXA’s Space Biomedical Research Group. During his career, he also held the role of flight engineer for a Soyuz launch in 2011, in which he flew the spacecraft to the ISS for a 165-day mission as part of Expeditions 28 and 29.
Astronaut Konstantin Borisov will fill the fourth seat inside the Crew Dragon, flying to space for the first time. He has been selected for astronaut training in 2018 and has a Master of Science in Operations Research and Systems Analysis. He is an astronaut from Roscosmos and his role in Expedition 70 will be mission specialist. Borisov was selected as part of the Soyuz-Dragon crew exchange system, signed in July 2022.
*All Crew pictures credits are due to NASA.