SpaceX’s private US space shuttle Crew Dragon, dubbed Freedom, was carried into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket, which took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The flight to the station will take at least 16 hours and everything will be managed independently by the computers in the Crew Dragon capsule, but if necessary, astronauts can control it at any time.
The four astronauts (Christoforiti, Commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Robert Haines and mission specialist Jessica Watkins) are expected to arrive at the space station at 2.15am Italian time on April 28, opening hatch at 3.45am Italian time.
Cristoforetti and his colleagues will work on dozens of science experiments aboard the International Space Station, six of which are being conducted by the Italian Space Agency, both in the medical field and to monitor the effects due to the long stay in orbit already initiated during the Beyond mission. by Luca Parmitano. During his stay, AstroSamantha will also assume the role of commander of the American orbital segment, that is, the group of American, European and Canadian units and components of the International Space Station.
The mission of Minerva, the reason for the name
The name was chosen in honor of all the men and women who made human spaceflight possible. Minerva was also a warrior goddess – Cristoforetti explained – embodying the fortitude, perseverance and discipline required of us, as well as the wisdom we aspire to demonstrate, as we strengthen and expand human presence in space.”
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