[ti:Astronauts Arrive in Florida to Prepare for Weekend Launch]
[00:00.04]Four astronauts arrived at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday
[00:07.88]to prepare for a trip to the International Space Station (ISS).
[00:14.08]An airplane brought the astronauts to Kennedy
[00:18.00]from the U.S. space agency's training center in Houston, Texas.
[00:24.80]The three Americans and one Japanese are set to leave
[00:30.44]for the ISS Saturday night, if weather conditions permit.
[00:36.64]The flight will be the second crew launch for SpaceX,
[00:42.32]a private company working with NASA to carry astronauts to space.
[00:49.84]The first SpaceX flight, in May 2020, made history.
[00:56.72]It was the first time a private company had launched astronauts into Earth's orbit.
[01:05.56]SpaceX built and operated the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft
[01:14.24]that carried two NASA astronauts to the space station.
[01:20.44]The crew – astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley
[01:26.20]- returned to Earth in August after a two-month stay.
[01:32.40]A Crew Dragon spacecraft – carried by a Falcon 9 rocket
[01:37.52]- will again transport the astronauts on the next mission.
[01:43.76]This time, the four astronauts are expected to spend about six months on the ISS.
[01:52.68]The crew includes Americans Michael Hopkins,
[01:56.96]Victor Glover and Shannon Walker.
[02:01.60]Also making the trip is Soichi Noguchi of Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency.
[02:11.72]Hopkins is a 51-year-old Air Force colonel from Missouri.
[02:17.88]He will be flying to the space station for his second time.
[02:22.72]He first traveled to the ISS in 2013
[02:27.40]and spent a total of 166 days in space.
[02:33.80]Walker is a 55-year-old physicist from Houston.
[02:39.32]The upcoming flight will be her second trip to the space station.
[02:44.96]Her first came in 2010, when she spent 163 days in space.
[02:53.52]Walker's husband – retired NASA astronaut Andrew Thomas – helped build the ISS.
[03:02.40]Glover is a 44-year-old Navy commander from Los Angeles.
[03:08.16]This will be his first space mission.
[03:12.88]He will be the first African American to move into the ISS for an extended stay.
[03:21.08]The 55-year-old Noguchi will be making his third trip to the space station.
[03:28.56]His longest visit came in 2010, when he spent 161 days
[03:35.52]on the ISS and served as Flight Engineer.
[03:41.32]Dragon will be Noguchi's third transportation vehicle for getting to space.
[03:48.12]In the past, he flew on a U.S. space shuttle and Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.
[03:56.64]The astronauts named their Dragon spacecraft Resilience
[04:01.80]to note the many challenges Americans have faced in 2020.
[04:08.92]These include the coronavirus health crisis,
[04:13.20]protests against racial injustice and a difficult presidential campaign season.
[04:21.68]"It's been a tough year for everybody for a lot of different reasons,"
[04:27.12]crew commander Mike Hopkins said after arriving in Florida.
[04:33.92]"We felt like if the name of our vehicle could give a little hope,
[04:39.48]a little inspiration, put a smile on people's face,
[04:43.92]then that is definitely what we wanted to do."
[04:49.04]SpaceX officials say the company expects
[04:53.08]to launch seven Dragons over the next 14 months:
[04:58.04]three to carry astronauts and four for transporting supplies.
[05:04.40]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM