SpaceX Crew-8 astronauts eager for launch to ISS on March 1: “Things surprise you, but we’re ready”

ASIM, feb 27. A new set of astronauts is gearing up for a launch to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX is preparing to launch four astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft for Crew-8, NASA’s eighth operational commercial crew mission, with a tentative launch date set for Mar. 1. The crew includes NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick (commander), Michael Barratt (pilot), and Jeanette Epps (mission specialist), along with mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin from the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Barratt is the only experienced crew member, having previously completed two spaceflights in 2009 and 2011, while Epps had been assigned to two other missions but was reassigned for various reasons. During a press conference at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on Jan. 25, the crew discussed their plans to bring personal mementos on the mission.

Among the items planned for the mission, Dominick intends to bring a watch passed down from his father, which holds sentimental value as it was used during their road trips to time distances between mile markers. The watch, similar to those worn by astronauts during the Apollo moon missions, has been in the family since 1970. This gesture reflects the crew’s desire to bring meaningful connections from their personal lives into their mission aboard the ISS.

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