NASA will select two astronauts for the SpaceX Crew 6 mission in 2023

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NASA has selected two astronauts for their sixth full-fledged crew mission to be launched by SpaceX on board their Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg have received the necessary clearance for the mission, which is scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket in 2023. Bowen has been assigned the role of commander of the spacecraft and Hoburg will be its pilot. Two more astronauts will be assigned the role of mission specialists by international partners at a later date, the agency said.

The mission will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the four crew members will join an expedition crew aboard the ISS in Low Earth Orbit. The floating space laboratory is an important test bed for overcoming long-standing obstacles in space travel and expanding commercial opportunities in near-earth orbit.

For Bowen, who logged more than 40 days in space during seven space walks, this is his fourth trip into space. Crew-6 will be his first extended visit to the ISS. Bowen was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts, USA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the US Naval Academy in Maryland. Bowen was the first submarine officer to be selected as an astronaut by NASA in July 2000.

For Hoburg, who was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2017, this is his first trip into space. When he was selected to be an astronaut, Hoburg was an assistant professor of aerospace at MIT. He’s also a commercial pilot with instrument, single-engine, and multi-engine ratings, according to NASA. He is one of 18 astronauts on NASA’s “Artemis Team” from which the agency will select the crew for its Artemis 3 mission to bring people back to the surface of the moon.

SpaceX proves to be a reliable private partner for NASA to transport astronauts into space for their research. Commercial companies offload transportation services to near-earth orbit so NASA can focus its resources on building and developing missions for space exploration.

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