SpaceX craft liftoff on Oct 31 with Japan, US astronauts aboard: NASA

Photographers prepare remote cameras to capture the scheduled launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft attached from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on May 26, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AFP/Joe Raedle). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WASHINGTON D.C., Sep 29, 2020, Kyodo. NASA said Monday it is targeting an Oct. 31 launch of a spacecraft developed by U.S. company SpaceX which will carry Japan’s Soichi Noguchi and three other astronauts to the International Space Station, Kyodo News reported.

The mission comes in the wake of the first crewed test flight to the ISS by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle. Two U.S. astronauts returned from the ISS in August aboard the capsule after a two-month mission.

The liftoff is planned for 2:40 a.m. on Oct. 31 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the southeastern state of Florida, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a press release.

Noguchi, a 55-year-old veteran Japanese astronaut, and three U.S. astronauts — Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker — are tasked with carrying out a six-month mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, it said.

SpaceX, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and founded by Tesla Inc.’s billionaire co-founder Elon Musk, is working with NASA to develop a successor to the Space Shuttle transportation system that was in service for 30 years through 2011.

In May of this year, SpaceX made history when its Crew Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to carry humans to the ISS.

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