Cohasset native Stephen Bowen said Wednesday he’s “looking forward” to living at the International Space Station for six months as the spacecraft commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission.
The Crew-6 team will depart no earlier than Feb. 26 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to Joel Montalbano, program manager of the International Space Station. The mission will be NASA’s sixth flight with a US commercial spacecraft carrying crew for a scientific expedition, officials said.
“This crew, with [Bowen], has three flights behind them; this will be his fourth mission. He’ll be flying with three first-timers,” Montalbano said in a press conference.
Bowen holds a master’s degree in ocean engineering from the MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, according to NASA. On his three previous missions, Bowen logged more than 40 days in space, Montalbano said.
The other crew members are NASA Astronaut Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates Astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos Cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, officials said.
“I think we’re actually pretty well balanced, pretty well complemented crew,” Bowen said in a press conference. “Everyone seems to be able to fill in the gaps wherever we have them. It’s just an incredibly talented group of people.”
During the six-month mission, the crew will perform about 250 experiments to help develop technology for exploration, Montalbano said. The mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which uses spacecrafts from companies such as SpaceX to transport astronauts to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station more affordably.
“Space flight is certainly challenging, it still is challenging here in 2023. We take that very seriously in Commercial Crew,” said Steve Stich, manager of the Commercial Crew Program. “We are looking forward to a safe mission when we’re ready to fly.”