SpaceX: Expedition 66 to the International Space Station (ISS) took off on Wednesday (10), at 23:03 GMT, directly from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the mission dubbed Cosmic Kiss (where the final three letters stand for ISS), took four astronauts into low Earth orbit, among them the 600th space traveler in 60 years.
Immediately, German astronaut Matthias Maurer, on his first space mission, claimed the title of traveler number 600. Along with his three NASA colleagues (he is from the European Space Agency – ESA), Maurer is expected to arrive on the ISS aboard the Crew Dragon around 21:10 (Brasilia time) this Thursday (11). This is Dragon’s third long-running operational mission, Crew-3.
Cosmic Kiss delays
The flight of the four astronauts was scheduled for the month of October, but was repeatedly postponed due to bad weather and even medical problems. One of the astronauts, whose name has not been released, was segregated for an unspecified medical condition but was not covid-19 according to authorities. Once the crew recovered, the weather in the region still didn’t help much, so much so that the crew said goodbye to their families under umbrellas.
Along with the 600th German passenger, Colonel Raja Chari of the American Air Force, 44, the leader of the mission despite being a rookie in space, also arrive at the space station; The Doctor. Thomas Marshburn, 61, the oldest person to live aboard the ISS and take a spacewalk; and Kayla Barron, 34, lieutenant in command of the Navy at Richland, Washington.
The arrival of the Crew-3 on the ISS to join the other members of Expedition 66 will be broadcast live on NASA Television, starting at 9:10 pm EDT. To watch, simply access the agency’s website at this link.