Watch Live: NASA and SpaceX Crew-1 Mission sends 4 astronauts in space today

NASA: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover & Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi took off at 0027 GMT Monday (6:00 AM IST) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi took off at 0027 GMT Monday (6:00 AM IST) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch marks NASA's end of almost a decade of international reliance on Russia for rides on its Soyuz rockets.


US President-elect Joe Biden hailed the launch on Twitter. He said the launch was a testament to the power of science and what we can accomplish by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity, and determination. On the other hand, President Donald Trump called it great. Vice President Mike Pence also attended the launch with his wife Karen. He called it a new era in human space exploration in America. The Pences joined NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and his wife Michelle to watch the launch, clapping as the rocket lifted off.

Meet the Crewmates of the NASA - SpaceX Crew-1 Mission


NASA Crew The SpaceX Crew-1 crew members (from left) NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

Credits: Intl. Space Station

1. Commander Mike Hopkins of NASA

Michael Hopkins is the commander of the Crew Dragon and the Crew-1 mission. Hopkins is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. He will also serve as an Expedition 64 flight engineer aboard the station. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009, Hopkins spent 166 days in space as a long-duration crew member of Expeditions 37 and 38 and completed two spacewalks totalling 12 hours and 58 minutes.


Born in Lebanon, Missouri, Hopkins grew up on a farm outside Richland, Missouri. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois, and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Stanford University. Before joining NASA, Hopkins was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force.

2. Mission Specialist Shannon Walker of NASA

Shannon Walker is a mission specialist for Crew-1. As a mission specialist, she will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. She will also be responsible for monitoring timelines, telemetry, and consumables, like fuel and atmosphere levels. Once aboard the station, Walker will become a flight engineer for Expedition 64.


Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004, Walker launched to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft as the co-pilot and spent 161 days aboard the orbiting laboratory. More than 130 microgravity experiments were conducted during her stay in areas such as human research, biology, and materials science. A Houston native, Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Rice University in 1987, as well as a Master of Science degree and a doctorate in space physics, both from Rice University, in 1992 and 1993, respectively.

3. Pilot Victor Glover of NASA

Victor Glover is the pilot of the Crew Dragon and second-in-command for the mission. Glover is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. He also will be a long-duration space station crew member. Selected as an astronaut in 2013, this will be his first spaceflight.


The California native holds a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering; a Master of Science degree in flight test engineering; a Master of Science degree in systems engineering and a master’s degree military operational art and science. Glover is a naval aviator and was a test pilot in the F/A‐18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and EA‐18G Growler aircraft.

4. Mission Specialist Soichi Noguchi of JAXA

Soichi Noguchi will also be a mission specialist for Crew-1, working with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight, and keeping watch on timelines, telemetry and consumables. Noguchi will also become a long-duration crew member aboard the space station. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in May 1996.


Noguchi is a veteran of two spaceflights. During space shuttle mission STS-114 in 2005, Noguchi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk outside the space station. He performed a total of three spacewalks during the mission, accumulating 20 hours and 5 minutes of spacewalking time. He launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in 2009 to return to the station as a long-duration crew member. The Crew Dragon will be the third spacecraft that Noguchi has flown to the orbiting laboratory.

Why is Crew-1 Mission so important?

The Crew-1 mission is a major step for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Operational, long-duration commercial crew rotation missions will enable NASA to continue the important research and technology investigations taking place onboard the station. Further, such research benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future exploration of the Moon and Mars starting with the agency’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface in 2024.

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