Less than a day after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, four commercial space fliers arrived Saturday at the International Space Station, becoming the first all-private crew to visit the orbiting research complex. Docking of SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with the station occurred at 8:29 a.m. EDT (1229 GMT).
NASA officials said Tuesday they are standing down from a cryogenic loading test on the agency’s Space Launch System moon rocket until after the launch of a commercial crew mission from a neighboring pad at the Kennedy Space Center. A countdown test Monday was delayed by what NASA managers characterized as minor issues, including a liquid oxygen temperature concern and a manual valve that was left in the wrong configuration before teams evacuated the SLS launch pad.
Two Japanese space tourists and a Russian cosmonaut have closed out a 12-day visit to the International Space Station. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, his assistant Yozo Hirano, and cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin undocked from the station in their Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft at 6:50 p.m. EST (2350 GMT) Sunday, and touched down in Kazakhstan at 10:13 p.m. EST (0313 GMT).
Sixty years after NASA astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space, his oldest daughter plans to blast off Saturday on a sub-orbital flight of her own, joining former NFL star and TV host Michael Strahan, two entrepreneurs and a father-and-son duo aboard a Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft.