After docking problems: Four astronauts reach the ISS


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Status: 03/03/2023 10:27 a.m

First the start was postponed due to problems with the ignition system, then there were problems docking the capsule. But now the “Crew-6” has successfully arrived at the International Space Station.

A crew of four has arrived on the International Space Station for a six-month mission. The capsule, owned by the private space company SpaceX, initially had problems docking and had to wait about 20 meters from the ISS while ground control in California solved a software problem. Then, with a slight delay, at 7.40 a.m. European time, the first contact was made.

The space capsule was launched on Thursday from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida. The problem arose shortly after launch: although all twelve docking hooks on the capsule appeared to be in order, a malfunction was indicated.

On board the capsule were two US astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev from Russia and astronaut Sultan al-Nejadi from the United Arab Emirates.

New crew replaces old ones

The start was actually planned for Monday, but had to be canceled at short notice and postponed due to problems with the ignition system. The “Crew-6” that has now flown to the ISS is to remain in space for around six months. On board the ISS they will meet cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin and Anna Kikina, NASA astronauts Frank Rubio, Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, and Koichi Wakata from Japan.

The “Crew-5” – Mann, Cassada, Wakata and Kikina – is scheduled to fly back to Earth in a few days. The return of Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio was delayed because a leak was discovered in the Soyuz capsule that brought them to the ISS in September.

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