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SpaceX Crew Dragon ferries 3-man, 1-woman crew to international space station

SpaceX capsule docks with ISS
SpaceX capsule docks with ISS 00:16

A SpaceX Crew Dragon ferry ship docked at the International Space Station Sunday after a 29-hour rendezvous, bringing four fresh crew members to the lab to replace four others wrapping up a six-month stay in orbit.

Crew-7 commander Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov docked at the lab at 9:16 a.m. EDT. After extensive leak checks, hatches were opened and the crew was welcomed aboard by the station's seven crew members.

The 11 astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station: Crew-7, front row, left to right: Konstantin Borisov, Andreas Mogensen, Jasmin Moghbeli and Satoshi Furukawa; second row, left to right: UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, Soyuz MS-23/69S astronaut Frank Rubio, MS-23/69S commander Sergey Prokopyev, Crew-6 pilot Woody Hoburg and Crew-6 commander Stephen Bowen; floating upside down, left to right: Soyuz MS-23/69S cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin and Crew-6 cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. (Credit: NASA TV) NASA TV

"Expedition 69 is very glad to greet new crewmates," ISS commander Sergey Prokopyev said. He noted that space veterans Mogensen and Furukawa were making their second visit to the station while Moghbeli and Borisov were making their first flight.

"My extreme congratulations for Jasmin and Konstantin, this your first flight, you became now real astronaut and cosmonaut, and I believe this will be [a] very significant event of your life. Welcome aboard. Looking forward to working together."

A camera aboard the space station captures a view of the Crew Dragon as it loops up in front of the lab on the way to a point directly above the Harmony module's space-facing docking port. NASA TV

Moghbeli, a Marine Corps helicopter test pilot, said, "It's so good to see all your smiling faces. As you know, we've been training together for a while for this exact moment where we could join you and continue the amazing work that's done on the International Space Station."

"I want to echo the thanks to all the teams ... for preparing us for this moment. I think we represent a good crew to be coming to the International Space Station," Moghbeli added.

Moghbeli and her Crew-7 colleagues blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center early Saturday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It was NASA's seventh operational Crew Dragon flight to the space station and the first featuring crew members from four different space agencies.

An over-the-shoulder view of Moghbeli, left, and Mogensen, right, monitoring the Crew Dragon's approach to the space station. NASA TV

Their addition to the station crew, which includes United Arab Emirates Crew-6 astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, means five nations are represented aboard the appropriately named lab complex -- the United States, Russia, Japan, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates.

But not for long.

The Crew-7 fliers are replacing Crew-6 commander Stephen Bowen, pilot Woody Hoburg, cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev and Alneyadi They plan to undock and return to Earth in a little less than a week to close out a six-month mission.

On Sept. 15, two weeks after Crew-6's departure, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft will take off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub and NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara.

That crew, in turn, will replace Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio. They're scheduled to return to Earth on Sept. 27 to wrap up a marathon 371-day stay in orbit, setting a new U.S. record for the longest single spaceflight.

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