SpaceX's Crew Dragon is carrying NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina. Photo: NASA TV/SpaceX
SpaceX launched four new crewmembers to the International Space Station for NASA on Wednesday.
Why it matters: SpaceX is currently the only American company able to send astronauts to orbit from U.S. soil.
- This launch is the company's eighth crewed mission to orbit and the sixth to the ISS under a NASA contract.
Driving the news: SpaceX's Crew Dragon is carrying NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina to the ISS.
- The crewmembers are expected to dock to the station on Thursday at 4:57 pm ET. You can watch continuous live coverage of their trip through space via NASA TV.
The big picture: SpaceX may not be the only option for NASA to launch its crews for long.
- The space agency also holds a contract with Boeing to eventually launch crews using its Starliner capsule.
- That spacecraft's first crewed launch is expected to occur in February 2023.
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