Countdown is on for NASA’s first crewed mission of the year

The four crew members of the Crew-6 mission will spend up to six months at the International Space Station. According to SpaceX, the crew will conduct over 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations on the ISS.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – NASA’s first crewed mission of the year is set to launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Center early Monday morning, with a takeoff window opening at 1:45 a.m. EST.

SpaceX Crew-6 is a four-person mission that will be the sixth operational human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station. NASA said the crew will rotate out with the astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission and spend up to six months on the ISS conducting scientific research.

The Crew-6 flight was initially scheduled to take off on Sunday, Feb. 26, but after a Flight Readiness Review by NASA and SpaceX, the decision was made to delay the flight by one day.

Members of the Crew-6 mission include NASA astronauts Mission Commander Stephen Brown and Pilot Warren "Woody" Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

Brown, Hoburg, Alneyadi and Fedyaev will carry out more than 200 science experiments on the ISS, according to SpaceX.


Weather conditions are looking favorable for NASA’s first crewed mission of 2023.
(FOX Weather)


Some of their investigations will include continuing combustion research, which will help scientists assess the flammability of materials used in future space missions and determine the best ways to detect and suppress fires in space, NASA said.

Another part of their research will involve monitoring how spaceflight stressors affect cellular immune functions. By understanding this, scientists may better develop countermeasures to those stressors.

Crew-6 crew members will also work on testing tissue chips or small devices that imitate the functions of human organs. By studying them on the ISS, the crew will learn how to help ensure the heart health of future space explorers and also apply those learnings to people on Earth.

Brown, Hoburg, Alneyadi and Fedyaev will also collect samples from outside of the space station to see whether the spacecraft releases microorganisms into space, according to NASA. This investigation will help scientists determine whether changes may need to be applied to future crewed missions to limit contamination from Earth. 

With the addition of members from SpaceX Crew-6, the population at the ISS could briefly swell to 11.


According to NASA, the crew will fly aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft called Endeavor. Endeavor will be carried by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.


Live coverage of the launch will be broadcast on NASA TV and on NASA’s website starting on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 10 p.m. EST.