Crew-5 astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada of NASA, Koichi Wakata of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Anna Kikina of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency are on their way to the International Space Station (ISS) after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, October 5.
The astronauts are set to arrive at the station on Thursday afternoon. The arrival will be livestreamed, and we have all the details on how to watch it below.
Mann, Cassada, Wakata, and Kikina will join the space station’s Expedition 68 crew of NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, Frank Rubio, and Jessica Watkins, as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin.
This means the number of crew members on the ISS will increase to 11 until Crew-4 astronauts Hines Lindgren, Watkins, and Cristoforetti return to Earth in the coming days.
“Missions like Crew-5 are proof we are living through a golden era of commercial space exploration,” NASA chief Bill Nelson said on Wednesday. “It’s a new era powered by the spirit of partnership, fueled by scientific ingenuity, and inspired by the quest for new discoveries.”
Nelson added: “During their stay aboard the International Space Station, Crew-5 will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations, including studies on printing human organs in space and better understanding heart disease. While our eyes are focused upward on the heavens, let us never forget these missions will also better life here on Earth.”
The Crew-5 astronauts are scheduled to dock with the space station at 4:57 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 6. NASA will livestream the procedure, including a commentary, via its YouTube channel, which is embedded at the top of this page.
The space station’s hatch is set to open at 6:42 p.m. ET, enabling the Crew-5 astronauts to enter the orbital outpost for the first time.
At 8:05 p.m. ET, all the station crew members will gather for a welcoming ceremony.
After that, the new arrivals will spend time settling in and getting used to the microgravity environment and layout of the station. For more insight into how people live and work aboard the station, check out these insightful videos made by different visitors over the years.