NASA and SpaceX will send another mission to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month and India has some presence in it. The NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission will have an Indian-American astronaut onboard who will also command the spacecraft. Raja Chari will join a crew of three onboard the Crew-3 mission to the ISS later this month.
"NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 mission will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the space station," the US space agency said in a statement.
This mission will involve the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that will also be the company’s fifth odyssey to the ISS with a human crew onboard. Chari will be the commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and will oversee the Crew-3 mission. He also has the role of the flight engineer onboard the ISS.
The Crew-3 mission will lift off from the Launch complex 39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida on October 30. With Crew-3, "the four crew going up are going to be doing even more science," said Kathy Leuders, associate administrator for the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA to Space.com.
As part of that “more science”, the crew will conduct experiments that will include both human as well as rodent research. The crew members going up to the ISS will spend six months in the gravity-less research lab.
As for Chari, he has been a colonel in the US Air force with the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of F-35 Integrated Test Force. He has had over 2000 hours of flight time experience in warfare aircraft like F-35, F-15, F-16, F-18 and F-15E. He has been awarded the Defence Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal, a Korean Defence Service Medal and the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal.