- On a fact-finding mission, four astronauts have lifted off to space from Florida, US
- The crew was said to have left earth onboard a spacecraft on Friday, April 23
- The astronauts are expected to get to International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, April 24
As part of NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission, four astronauts from three nations took off for the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida.
The spacecraft, boarded by four astronauts, was launched in the early hours of Friday, April 23, ABC News reports.
The astronauts, expected to stay in the station for six months, are Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet.
Speaking on the readiness of the scientists for the mission, Steve Jurczyk, NASA's acting administrator, said:
"I met with the crew last night, they are ready to go. I asked them what they look forward to most in the mission, and they said launching and getting up on station and getting to work."
The spacecraft, scheduled to dock to the space station by Saturday, April 24, was built by Elon Musk's spacefaring firm which has flown astronauts more than twice.
Meanwhile, Briefly News reported that Africa was yet to send an African-born astronaut to space, but most countries on the continent continue to bolster programs towards achieving that milestone.
It had been estimated that a combined figure of more than $7 billion (approximately R100 billion) has been sunk into space programs by Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Rwanda.
The names of five African-born women were conspicuous in these programs for their leadership roles in the growing venture.
One of such persons, Jessie Ndaba, is a South African space engineer who teamed up with Khalid Manjoo to start an astronomy startup called Astrofica.
The tech company deals in designing, assembling, and testing satellite systems.
Ndaba's fascination with space exploration began in her childhood when her grandmother gifted her with a textbook that had an image of a rocket engine.
According to her, lack of information on space exploration is the reason the field has fewer women as many who excel in maths and science prefer to go into medicine.
"Females by nature are nurturers and are peaceful, therefore they would go for professions that afford them a platform to directly help or have a positive impact on people’s lives," she told Space in Africa.
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