SpaceX: the schedule of future manned missions

SpaceX has several manned missions waiting for it. Missions to the ISS, tourist flights and even a future moon walk. Overview of the upcoming calendar for the American company.

Crew-4 takeoff: April 27, 2022

Four astronauts boarded SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. Three are Americans and the last Italian: Kjell Lindgren, Jessica Watkins, Robert Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti. The first three represent the American space agency, while the last one bears the colors of the European Space Agency.

There will also be the return mission to guarantee in six months. SpaceX will be responsible for bringing the four travelers back to their destination at the end of September 2022 – the date is not firmly fixed as a short extension may be decided. Point to note with this mission: it welcomes the first black woman to the International Space Station.

Crew-5 mission departure: October 2022

SpaceX’s next manned mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for October 2022. The entire crew is known: there are two Americans (Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada), a Japanese (Kōichi Wakata) and, for fourth place, we evoke a great first: the presence of a Russian, Anna Kikina.

The United States and Russia have historically cooperated in space around the ISS. It also happened that the Russian space agency Roscosmos transports American astronauts aboard the ISS. This would be the first time the US has returned the favor, with SpaceX. However, the geopolitical context surrounding the war in Ukraine brings a dose of uncertainty.

Ax-2 Mission Flight: Fall 2022 — Spring 2023

The Ax-2 mission is scheduled between the fall of 2023 and the spring of 2023. We know that it will be commanded by the American Peggy Whitson, a very experienced NASA astronaut (665 days in space, 10 extravehicular missions for a total of 60 hours and three ISS stays, sorry). Investor John Shoffner was also announced on board.

The other members are not yet known. Mention is made of the possibility that one of the two remaining seats could be awarded to the winner of the TV show Who wants to be an astronaut? (Who wants to become an astronaut?), produced by the Discovery Channel. Ax quests are for tourist purposes. The first took place at the beginning of the year and lasted a week.

Crew-6 Mission Planning: April 2023

SpaceX will proceed in April 2023 for a new liftoff towards the ISS. Mission name: Crew-6. For now, two of the four members are known: Americans Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg. The third seat must be reserved for an Emirati astronaut. It wouldn’t be the first time: in 2019, Hazza Al Mansouri was the first to go into space.

Moon flyby: 2023

In 2018, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced a lunar flyby project funded by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa – eight people will also be part of the trip. A selection campaign is underway around the world to select the entrepreneur’s travel companions. This includes, among other things, a medical check-up.

An artist’s vision showing a dream flying over the moon. // Source: SpaceX

Once the choice is made, training will begin until 2023. Even though SpaceX supervises and controls everything remotely, it is preferable that everyone is practically on that journey – procedures, suits, key phases of the flight, etc. Takeoff will be from Florida. Once the Moon’s return is complete, the spacecraft, which will have left Florida, will return. It is in principle the starship that will be used.

Crew-7 mission departure: September 2023

The Crew-7 mission is a mission in more than a year, in September 2023. From the Crew Dragon capsule, we already know two of the four passengers: the American Jasmin Moghbeli and the Danish Andreas Mogensen. This will be a first for Jasmin, who will serve as captain. Andreas has already stayed on the ISS. He will be the pilot.

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