Astronauts for SpaceX Crew-2 mission prepare for launch

It will be the first time in more than 20 years a crew from NASA, ESA and JAXA have flown together

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Astronauts for the SpaceX Crew-2 mission said they are ready for the launch next month at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

“We are starting to get excited; we have been very busy with all of our training. [I] just want to give a shoutout to the NASA and SpaceX training teams [that] have done such a great job. We’re ready and we’re excited to fly,” astronaut Megan McArthur, the pilot for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission said.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough said the launch will be a historic day.

“It’s been the first time since in over 20 years that a crew from NASA, ESA and JAXA have flown together,” he said.

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McArthur and Kimbrough will be joined by astronaut Aki Hoshide of Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency and astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency.

“With this crew and the crew on board, it will be a lot of fun--you know different activities, different experiments and I’m looking forward to that,” Hoshide said.

The upcoming launch will be his third time going to the International Space Station.

For Pasquet, it will be his second trip to the ISS.

“It’s a great feeling. It reminds me of my previous flight, so I think we’ve reached that level when we’re almost ready to fly there are a few finishing touches to put on the crew,” Pasquet said.

During a virtual media briefing from Houston, Steve Stich, the commercial crew program manager for NASA, talked about the changes made to the vehicle.

“We’re excited about this crew Dragon which has some enhanced capabilities over the Crew 1 vehicle. We have enhanced more capability. We have enhanced prop capability making it an even safer vehicle and some crew improvements inside the cockpit,” Stich said.

The astronauts said they hope their mission also inspires future generations.

“We’re gonna do our very best to represent NASA and ESA and JAXA and SpaceX in the International Space Station,” Kimbrough said. “It’s an international crew so that in itself can show the possibilities that are out there.”