Crew-3 astronauts talk about upcoming trip to space

Launch planned for Halloween weekend

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. (SpaceX)

HOUSTON – The Crew-3 astronauts held a news conference Thursday afternoon from Houston ahead of their planned launch from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station on Halloween weekend.

The crew for the mission consists of NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer.

We’ll be launching Oct. 30, at the end of this month — in the middle of the night so stay up and catch us — and we’ll be up there for six months, coming back in the spring of 2022,” Chari said.

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The launch is set for Saturday, Oct. 30, at 2:43 a.m. with a backup launch time of 2:21 a.m. on Halloween.

If the launch stays on schedule for Oct. 30, the Crew-3 team would arrive at the ISS early the next day.

“As always, there’s going to be a really robust backbone of science that we’re going to be executing throughout our entire mission that’s going to peak in December when the SpaceX Dragon arrives with a full compartment of more experiments for us to be doing” Marshburn said. “But also during that time, we want to note that we’re going to have spaceflight participants coming up on the Soyuz, private astronauts on the Axiom spacecraft — so we’ll be inviting a lot of guests to the space station.”

The astronauts would have some overlap with the Crew-2 mission, according to NASA.

The Crew-2 team — NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet — are expected to return to Earth in early-to-mid November, the space agency said.

This will be the fifth crewed launch for the Crew Dragon capsule but only the fourth for NASA.

“One of the really cool things about the SpaceX Dragon is we’ll be the first ones to use endurance, but it won’t be the last time it’s used,” Chari said. “It’s going to be used many times by many missions, and will continue to support long-duration spaceflight.”

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.