Four astronauts took their first steps of a six-month stay in space as they launched on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
But who are the three men and one woman who will live on the International Space Station?
Shane Kimbrough, the commander of the mission to space, is a retired Army colonel and has been on two other ISS missions. He was born in Killeen, Texas, but graduated from The Lovett School in Atlanta. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering at West Point in 1989 and a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1998.
He joined NASA at Johnson Space Center in September 200- and was assigned to the Aircraft Operations Division at Ellington Field in Houston, where he was a flight simulation engineer on the Shuttle Training Aircraft, NASA said in his official biography.
He was an astronaut candidate n May 2004, completing his training in February 2006.
Kimbrough had his first space flight in 2008, spending 15 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes and 37 seconds in space. He performed 12 hours and 52 minutes in spacewalks during that mission.
He also served as the Commander of the ISS in 2016.
Kimbrough has spent a total of 189 days in space before the SpaceX Crew-2 mission.
For more on Kimbrough, click here.
Megan McArthur is the pilot of the Crew-2 mission. She has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA and a Doctorate in Oceanography from the University of California, San Diego, NASA said. Her husband, Bob Behnken, was a pilot on the same rocket last year, going to the ISS.
She became an astronaut in 2000 and served as a Mission Specialist on the final space shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.
Her first mission marked 13 days in space. She also worked as Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for the ISS Misson Control Centers and was a crew support astronaut for Expedition Crews.
She was born in 1971 in Honolulu, Hawaii and will celebrate her 50th birthday onboard the ISS, People magazine reported.
Click here for McArthur’s official biography.
Akihiko Hoshide is an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University in 1992 and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Houston, Cullen College of Engineering in 1997, JAEA said.
He joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan in 1992. The agency is now the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He helped develop the H-II rocket and was an astronaut support engineer, helping to develop the astronaut training program.
He was selected in February 1999 as one of three Japanese astronauts slated to go to the ISS, starting training in April 1999 and being certified in January 2001.
He served as a mission specialist in 2006 for NASA and was selected as a crew member for the STS-124 mission to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module to the ISS in 2007.
From July to November 2012, he spent 124 days as a flight engineer on the ISS.
Click here for more from Hoshide’s official biography.
Thomas Pesquet is a member of the European Space Agency. He was born in Rouen, France, in 1978. He went to the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen in 1998 and received a Masters degree from École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in Toulouse, France, in 2001, majoring in spacecraft design and control. He graduated from Air France flight school in 2006.
Pesquet served as a trainee engineer in Thales Alenia Space in Cannes from April to September 2001, where he developed a satellite system design tool.
From 2002 to 2004, he worked with the French space agency as a research engineer, and was a representative working on cross-support for international space agencies.
He was selected as an astronaut for the ESA in 2009, joining in September 2009 and finishing basic training in November 2010. He worked with Eurocom, communicating with astronauts during fights.
He served on the ISS starting in November 2016 for six months, at one point capturing two of four cargo vehicles using ISS’ robotic arm.
Pesquet worked on more than 50 experiments and has performed two spacewalks. He spent 197 days in space.
Click here for more on Pesquet’s career.