Indian American Astronaut Raja Chari to command NASA-SpaceX's Crew-3 Mission

NASA-SpaceX's third mission will carry four astronauts- three NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron and one ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer to ISS aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft named Endurance.

Created On: Oct 8, 2021 16:58 IST
Indian American Astronaut Raja Chari to command NASA-SpaceX's Crew-3 Mission
Indian American Astronaut Raja Chari to command NASA-SpaceX's Crew-3 Mission

Raja Chari is an Indian American Astronaut who will command NASA-SpaceX's Crew-3 Mission to the International Space Station.

NASA-SpaceX's third mission will carry four astronauts- three NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron and one ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer to ISS aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket, informed the US space agency in a statement.

The mission will be launched on October 30, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew-3 mission will be SpaceX's fifth crewed flight to space and fourth to the International Space Station.

The Indian-American astronaut will serve as the commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-3 mission and as Expedition 66 flight engineer aboard the station.

NASA-SpaceX Crew-3 mission - Everything you need to know!

The Crew-3 mission follows Inspiration4 space mission, which was an all-civilian crewed mission that lifted off on September 15 aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The Crew-3 mission will carry four astronauts on a science expedition to the microgravity laboratory as part of the Commercial Crew Program. It will arrive at the space station after an approximate journey of 22-hour.  The Crew-3 astronauts will return back to the Earth in late April 2022.

Aim 

The mission will continue to test exploration risks, pushing the bounds of technology and continuing to establish our key international partner relationships. The mission will comprise experiments that crossover from science and utilization.

Some of the experiments will include human research, rodent research and other experiments that will be similar to the ones that have already been done on the station.

The astronauts will be at the ISS for 6 months and during this long stay, they will be spending a majority of time working.

Short overlap with SpaceX Crew-2 

The SpaceX Crew-2 mission, which is already there at the International Space Station, is scheduled to return in mid-November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. The Crew 2 mission includes four astronauts- NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.

Who is Raja Chari?

•Raja Chari was born in Milwaukee, the largest city in the US state of Wisconsin.

•He is a colonel in the US Air Force. He is an American test pilot with a flight time of more than 2,500 hours. 

•He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and US Naval Test Pilot School.

•He became a NASA astronaut in 2017 and this would be his first spaceflight. 

•He was selected to be a part of the Artemis Team in December 2020. It is a group of astronauts who will help pave the way for future lunar missions including sending the first woman and next man to walk on the Moon's surface in 2024.

•He has become the first NASA rookie to command a spaceflight since Gerald Carr, who commanded the Skylab 4 mission in 1973.

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