Meet NASA’s Crew-3, ready for the Halloween launch for the ISS

A new group of astronauts will soon travel to the International Space Station (ISS) to join the crew there, and they will board a brand new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The team, known as Crew-3, consists of NASA’s Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, plus the European Space Agency’s Matthias Maurer. And at a news conference this week, the four crew members spoke about their enthusiasm for the upcoming mission, which launches Saturday, Oct. 30 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The official crew portrait of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission.
The official crew portrait of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission: (from left) Commander Raja Chari and pilot Thomas Mashburn, both NASA astronauts. Mission specialist Matthias Maurer from ESA (European Space Agency). Mission specialist Kayla Barron from NASA. NASA

The crew will travel on a SpaceX Crew Dragon in the third operational mission of this vessel to NASA. During the conference, Mission Chief Raja Chari announced that they had chosen a name for their vehicle.

“We can stop calling it the Capsule 210, which is the serial number of our SpaceX Dragon,” Chari said, “and let people know that the crew has come up with the name of the vehicle, which is Endurance.

“It speaks to us on a number of levels: first and foremost as a tribute to the perseverance of the human spirit as we push humans and machines further than we ever have, both to stay in extended low ground and open it up to private companies and “Private astronauts, and knowing that we will continue our investigation to go even further. And also as a nod to the fact that the development team, the production teams and the training teams that got us here have endured a pandemic.”

Chari also mentioned that the name was appropriate as the vehicle will be reused in future missions as SpaceX capsules are designed to be reusable. “So we will be the first to use Endurance, but it will not be the last time it is used,” he said.

Other Crew Dragon vessels are Endeavor, which flew Dragon’s first crew test flight and are currently docked at the ISS for the Crew-2 mission and Resilience, which flew the Crew-1 mission for NASA and the latest private Inspiration4 mission.

“It’s hard to adequately express how excited we are as a crew,” Barron said. “We definitely feel ready for launch.”

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