NASA and SpaceX have successfully sent another set of astronauts to orbit in the Dragon Endurance capsule so their predecessors can return home next week.
The Crew-5 mission consists of NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, joined by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina.
The quartet launched just after 9 a.m. PT atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday. Before planned for Monday, but it was pushed to Tuesday and then pushed back again by another day.bombarded Florida, the launch had been
After launch, the Dragon separated from the Falcon 9 first-stage booster, which successfully landed on the droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.
NASA TV is televising parts of the mission, including Thursday's docking with the ISS. You can follow it all with CNET's Highlights YouTube channel below.
Crew-5 will spend roughly 22 hours traveling to the ISS after launch. Once the new crew arrives, the members of thecurrently on the ISS will spend five days handing off duties to the new arrivals. Then the Crew-4 capsule docked to the ISS will head for home with those astronauts aboard for a splashdown return.
The astronauts of Crew-5 plan to live aboard the ISS for about six months, carrying out science experiments and maintenance projects.