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Crew Dragon is the best, latest arrival to the ISS tells earthlings

The latest arrivals to the International Space Station (ISS) have given their first interview since boarding the orbiting outpost on Monday, November 16.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi from Japan’s JAXA space agency, journeyed to the ISS aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, and on Thursday, November 19 answered questions from curious earthlings. Kate Rubins, who arrived at the space station in October, joined the Q&A session, while Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov took a break after completing a spacewalk earlier in the day.

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Asked how the Crew Dragon spacecraft compared with the Russian Soyuz capsule and space shuttle, Noguchi, the only astronaut among the crew to have experienced rides in all three spacecraft, said, “Dragon is the best,” adding, “Each vehicle has its own peculiarity, but I think Dragon is really ready to go up and fun to ride.”

“The Dragon is the best…it’s fun to ride.” ????@Astro_Soichi of @JAXA_en is now the 1st international partner astronaut to fly on 3 different spacecraft and shares his experience flying to space aboard the Crew Dragon “Resilience”:

— NASA (@NASA) November 19, 2020

This was only the second time for the Crew Dragon to transport humans, following the successful Demo-2 test mission over the summer with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. The design of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon was based on the cargo-carrying Dragon spacecraft, which has seen numerous flights to and from the ISS since its maiden voyage in 2010. The success of SpaceX’s reusable rocket system means NASA is able to launch and land missions from American territory for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

This latest mission was Glover’s first ride to space, an experience he described as “awesome,” adding, “When that engine cut off and we were in orbit, it’s surreal … when I first looked out the window at the Earth, it’s hard to describe, there are no words to describe it, it was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“There are no words to describe it. It was an amazing, once in a lifetime feeling.” Listen in to hear @AstroVicGlover’s reaction to his first ride to space.

— NASA (@NASA) November 19, 2020

Talking about what it’s like to have more people than usual aboard the space station (usually there are no more than six but currently there are seven), Walker said that while there are no waits for using facilities like exercise equipment, it can get busy when moving between the station’s different modules, with “traffic jams” sometimes forming.

“You can tell it’s a lot fuller here, but everybody’s right. We’re going to get a lot of work done which is really good for all the science that goes on in the world.” Shannon Walker of @NASA_Astronauts on the increase to 7 humans living & working aboard the @Space_Station

— NASA (@NASA) November 19, 2020

However, Rubins pointed out how the large crew means that plenty more science work is going to be taking place during Expedition 63’s six-month mission.

“The amount of scientific output that you’re going to see from this mission I think is absolutely incredible.” – Kate Rubins of @NASA_Astronauts shares how a larger crew means more @ISS_Research on the @Space_Station:

— NASA (@NASA) November 19, 2020

You can watch the entire 30-minute interview below.

???????? LIVE FROM SPACE: Hear from @Astro_Illini, @AstroVicGlover, Shannon Walker, & @Astro_Soichi days after NASA's Crew-1 mission arrived at the @Space_Station. The @NASA_Astronauts are joined by flight engineer Kate Rubins for a Q&A:

— NASA (@NASA) November 19, 2020

This month the International Space Station is celebrating 20 years of continuous human habitation. Check out this collection of videos made by past visitors to the station to find out more about everyday life on the ISS.

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