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Dragon Tamers Rise – Crew-7 Ready for Flight

The crew of SpaceX Crew-7, (L to R) Konstantin Borisov, Andreas Mogensen, Jasmin Moghbeli, Satoshi Furukawa.
Credit: Astrid Cordero

The International Space Station, in the near quarter century of its operations, has remained a powerhouse of science and has helped champion diversity and equity for nations across the globe. The crew of SpaceX’s seventh rotation mission, Crew-7, are no exception. Launching at 3:27 AM Eastern Time August 26th, these four valiant men and women will continue to inspire those on Earth, and conduct important research that will take us higher, further and faster than ever before.

Under the command of rookie Artemis astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, Crew-7 will take flight aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance, which has previously visited the ISS as part of Crew-3 and Crew-5. A United States Marine Corps test pilot, Moghbeli was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Group 22 in June 2017, and subsequently began her two-year training. In January 2020, she graduated alongside 13 others in the NASA Astronaut Candidate Training Program, officially making her eligible for spaceflight which includes assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon, and ultimately missions to Mars. In March 2022, she was assigned as commander of the Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station.

For the first time, the American built Crew Dragon spacecraft will be piloted by an international partner, ESA’s Andreas Mogensen. Mogensen was selected to become the first Danish astronaut by the European Space Agency in May 2009. He completed initial training and became a member of the European Astronaut Corps in November 2010. On September 2nd, 2015, Mogensen launched aboard Soyuz TMA-18M to the ISS and landed with Soyuz TMA-16M ten days later as part of a short stay segment called “Iriss”. In March 2022, he was selected as pilot of SpaceX Crew-7 and is set to become the first European pilot of a spacecraft. He will also be the ISS Expedition 70 commander. The European segment of the mission is called “Huginn”, continuing the tradition of naming European orbital segments. 

The first Mission Specialist slot, known as MS-1 onboard Crew Dragon Endurance, is filled by JAXA’s Satoshi Furukawa. Dr. Furukawa trained as a surgeon at the University of Tokyo, before joining JAXA (then NASDA) as part of Japan’s contribution to the nascent International Space Station. Furukawa was assigned to the International Space Station as a flight engineer on long-duration missions Expedition 28/29 as part of his first spaceflight, lifting off June 7th, 2011 and returning November 22nd, 2011. In 2013, Furukawa served as a cavenaut as part of the ESA CAVES training in Sardinia, alongside Jeremy Hansen, Michael Barratt, Jack Fisher, Aleksei Ovchinin, and Paolo Nespoli. Crew-7 and Expedition 69/70 will be Furukawa’s second trip to space.

Mission Specialist 2 for Crew-7 is Konstantin Borisov, of Roscosmos – the state space corporation of Russia. A rookie cosmonaut, Borisov was selected in 2018 for two years of training before graduating to be eligible for spaceflight in 2020. Borisov was assigned to Crew-7 as part of seat swaps between the American Commercial Crew vehicles and the Russian Soyuz. This procedure is a necessary part of ISS operations that ensures that one member from the United States Orbital Segment and one from the Russian Orbital Segment remain present in the event of an issue with either spacecraft. 

Crew-7’s flight represents a truly modern international space program, with astronauts from all over the world coming together to contribute to research aboard humanity’s most robust orbital laboratory. The ethos of this crew, a multinational, diverse and accomplished team, speaks to the mission of international spaceflight: that cooperation is key in order to accomplish what we set out to do. In the middle of a November night last year, the Artemis age kicked off with a bang, and the phrase “we rise together” has been sitting in the minds of space enthusiasts and agencies alike. Crew-7 embodies this phrase, a multinational effort to keep the science flowing aboard the ISS. 

Edited by Beverly Casillas & David Diebold

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