The First Native American Female Astronaut Is Heading to Space in Today's NASA, SpaceX Mission — How to Watch

Lift-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. EDT.

Nicole Mann
Nicole Mann . Photo:

Jim Watson/Getty Images

NASA and SpaceX are sending a diverse and historic crew to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday.

The crew — which consists of the first indigenous woman — is known as Crew-5 and will conduct studies "on printing human organs in space, understanding fuel systems operating on the Moon, and better understanding heart disease," according to the space agency.

The launch is scheduled for 12 p.m. EDT at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA will be broadcasting the launch live on NASA TV, as well as on its app. Both NASA and SpaceX have also been providing updates on their respective Twitter accounts.

A livestream is also being broadcasted on NASA's Twitter account.

Crew-5 will be on board SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and is set to land at the ISS on Thursday at 4:57 p.m. EDT. Their mission is slated to last five months.

For NASA's Nicole Mann, it will be her first a spaceflight since becoming an astronaut in 2013, the agency noted. The California native is the first Native American female astronaut to be headed to the ISS and will be the crew's mission commander for the flight.

“I am very proud to represent Native Americans and my heritage,” Mann said at a press conference Saturday via CNN. “I think it’s important to celebrate our diversity and also realize how important it is when we collaborate and unite, the incredible accomplishments that we can have.”

She is a member a registered member of the Wailacki tribe of the Round Valley reservation, CNN noted.

NASA is also sending up former U.S. Marine Corp pilot Josh Cassada — who has also been with the agency since 2013 — for the first time.

From left are crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission – Anna Kikina, mission specialist; Josh Cassada, pilot; Nicole Mann, spacecraft commander; and Koichi Wakata, mission specialist – shown inside the crew access arm at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.
Crew-5 members from left to right: Anna Kikina, Josh Cassada, Nicole Mann, and Koichi Wakata.

Courtesy of NASA/SpaceX

With the most experience on board, Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be joining the mission in what will be his fifth time in space and will serve as the mission specialist.

Rounding out the crew is cosmonaut Anna Kikina of Russia's Roscosmos. This is her first time flying on an American rocket since 2002, according to CBS News. She'll also serve as the mission specialist.

The crew will join seven astronauts from Expedition 68 at the ISS.

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