Four astronauts from four countries touched down in Florida on Sunday (Aug. 20) ahead of their flight to space from the Sunshine State.
The SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to prepare for their launch to the International Space Station in front of a waiting crowd of well-wishers and journalists.
They will launch on SpaceX’s Crew-7 flight no earlier than Aug. 25 at 3:49 a.m. EDT (0749 GMT), and you can watch the whole thing live here at Space.com, via NASA TV.
Related: SpaceX’s Crew-7 mission will launch international crew to ISS next week
Crew-7, as the name indicates, is the seventh operational commercial crew mission for NASA by SpaceX. It will launch aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of a Falcon 9 rocket for a half-year sojourn on board the International Space Station.
“There is always excitement in the air at KSC around launch time, but I have to admit I’m a bit more excited for this one,” NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli said on X (formerly known as Twitter) with pictures of the arrival.
Moghbeli will be the second Iranian-American to reach space on Crew-7 and joining her is a fully international crew: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen.
Crew-7 is expected to stay about 190 days on the ISS, NASA officials said in a press conference in July. Another crew will rocket up soon to join them: A Soyuz spacecraft mission will launch in mid-September for its own 190-day mission, carrying Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, along with NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara.
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Crew-7 will perform hundreds of experiments during its stay in space while taking on duties such as spacewalks, space station maintenance, capturing cargo ships and outreach with the public. (The operational needs aboard the ISS means it is hard to predict exactly what the crew will be tasked with doing, but their training is designed to be flexible for all types of situations.)
NASA has said Crew-7’s mission will include a reboost of the ISS’ orbit using an already docked Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This is the third time Cygnus has done so, as a backup to the main reboosting procedure that relies upon Russian Progress cargo spacecraft.