Tuesday, February 06, 2024

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Prepares for Launch | SpaceX Headquarters

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Prepares for Launch | SpaceX Headquarters

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps, Crew-8 mission specialist
NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick, commander of NASA's SpaceX Crew-8 mission
Cosmonaut and SpaceX Crew-8 mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin of Russia
NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, pilot of NASA's SpaceX Crew-8 mission

As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-8 marks the ninth human spaceflight mission supported by a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and the eighth crew rotation mission to International Space Station. Crew-8 will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than mid-February 2024. They will join Expedition 70 and 71 crew members aboard the International Space Station in early 2024 to conduct a wide-ranging set of operational and research activities.

SpaceX Crew-8:

NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin of Russia, mission specialist 

This will be Epps’ first trip to the International Space Station. She is from Syracuse, New York, and earned a bachelor’s in physics from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, and a master’s in science and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining NASA, she worked at Ford Motor Company and the Central Intelligence Agency. She was selected as an astronaut in July 2009, and has served on the Generic Joint Operation Panel working on space station crew efficiency, as a crew support astronaut for two expeditions, and as lead capsule communicator in the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Epps previously was assigned to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission. NASA reassigned Epps to allow Boeing time to complete development of Starliner while also continuing plans for astronauts to gain spaceflight experience for future mission needs.

This will also be the first spaceflight for Dominick, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017. He is from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of San Diego, California, and a master’s in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is an active-duty U.S. Navy astronaut. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, and then served as a test pilot specializing in testing landing on and catapult launches from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

This will be Barratt’s third trip to the space station. In 2009, Barratt served as a flight engineer for Expeditions 19 and 20 as the station transitioned its standard crew complement from three to six, and performed two spacewalks. He flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 2011 on STS-133, which delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module and fourth Express Logistics Carrier. He has spent a total of 212 days in space. Born in Vancouver, Washington, he considers Camas, Washington, to be his hometown. Barratt earned a bachelor’s in zoology from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a doctor of medicine from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. He completed residencies in internal medicine at Northwestern and aerospace medicine along with a master’s degree at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. After nine years as a NASA flight surgeon and project physician, Barratt joined the astronaut corps in 2000.

Grebenkin, who graduated from Irkutsk High Military Aviation School, Irkutsk, Russia, majoring in engineering, maintenance, and repair of aircraft radio navigation systems, is flying on his first mission, too. He graduated from Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics with a degree in radio communications, broadcasting, and television.

Learn more about the SpaceX Crew-8 Mission:

NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps Official Biography:


NASA Astronaut Matthew Dominick Official Biography


NASA Astronaut Michael Barratt Official Biography


NASA’s Commercial Crew Program works with the American aerospace industry to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the orbital outpost on American-made rockets and spacecraft launching from American soil.

For over 23 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, more than 244 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

The station is a critical testbed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight and to expand commercial opportunities in low Earth orbit. As commercial companies focus on providing human space transportation services and destinations as part of a robust low Earth orbit economy, NASA is able to more fully focus its resources on deep space missions to the Moon and Mars.

Find more information on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at:


An international partnership of space agencies provides and operates the elements of the  International Space Station (ISS). The principals are the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada. The ISS has been the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken.

Image Credit: SpaceX

Image Date: Oct. 16 - Dec. 3, 2023

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