Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, of Japan, from left, NASA Astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins walk after arriving at Kennedy Space Center, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The four astronauts will fly on the SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station scheduled for launch on Nov. 14, 2020 (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Four astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Sunday for SpaceX’s second crew launch, coming up next weekend.
For NASA, it marks the long-awaited start of regular crew rotations at the International Space Station, with private companies providing the lifts. There will be double the number of astronauts as the test flight earlier this year, and their mission will last a full six months.
“Make no mistake: Every flight is a test flight when it comes to space travel. But it’s also true that we need to routinely be able to go to the International Space Station,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in welcoming the astronauts to Kennedy.
The crew of three Americans and one Japanese are scheduled to rocket away Saturday night, provided approaching Tropical Storm Eta doesn’t interfere. It will be a speedy trip