Launches: Better Together
The International Space Station and Commercial Crew programs, in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center’s Celebrations team, brought back the spirited tradition of a good old-fashioned launch watch party with the liftoff of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission on Oct. 5, 2022. Friends and colleagues met up in Building 3 to watch the excitement unfold on screens in the collaboration center and grab a bite for lunch.
Curious about the daily dining options at Johnson? They’re just a click away on Starport’s website.
Attendees were also able to pick up mission giveaways while mingling and taking in the launch celebration.
The cheering may have helped propel two NASA astronauts — Mission Commander Nicole Mann and Pilot Josh Cassada — along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, mission specialists, into space for their science-laden expedition.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts are photographed in front of the agency’s iconic worm logo at Launch Complex 39A during a countdown dress rehearsal on Oct. 2, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left are NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, pilot; Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, mission specialist; NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, commander; and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, mission specialist. Credits: SpaceX
As commander, Mann is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry, and will serve as an Expedition 68 flight engineer. This will be her first spaceflight since becoming an astronaut in 2013. Mann was born in Petaluma, California, and will be the first indigenous woman from NASA in space. She is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, and she served as a test pilot in the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet.
Cassada is the spacecraft pilot and second in command for the mission. He is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. Aboard the station, he will serve as an Expedition 68 flight engineer. This will be his first flight since his selection as an astronaut in 2013. Cassada grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and is a physicist and U.S. Navy test pilot.
Wakata will be making his fifth trip to space and as a mission specialist, and he will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. Once aboard the station, he will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 68. With Crew-5’s launch, Dragon will be the third different type of spacecraft Wakata has flown to space.
Kikina will be making her first trip to space, and will serve as a mission specialist, working to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. She will be a flight engineer for Expedition 68.
Learn more about NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission and Commercial Crew Program at:
And now ... enjoy snapshots from the Crew-5 launch watch party in Building 3!