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Jourdan Bennett-Begaye
ICT

Celebrate World Space Week and the upcoming Indigenous Peoples Day by watching the first Native woman to launch into space Wednesday at noon ET.

NASA Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann, Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, is aboard SpaceX’s Dragon with three other astronauts preparing to lift off to the International Space Station.

Since the agency’s live coverage started at 8:30 a.m. ET, the crew has been going through a series of checks: suit checks, communication checks, and more. The astronauts have been in Florida since Oct. 1 for media day and dress rehearsals.

The scheduled launch time is Oct. 5 at 12 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

(Read more: First Native woman in space)

Mann serves as the mission commander for the Crew-5 mission to the space station, also known as the floating laboratory. The astronauts joining her as part of Crew 5 are pilot Josh Cassada, JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, both are mission specialists for the science expedition mission.

Crew 5 will join Crew 4 at the International Space Station, a total of 11 people. Crew 4 will show the new crew around the space station and then return to Earth in October. Crew 5 will stay at the station for six months to work on hundreds of science experiments.

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Mann is also in the running to be the first woman on the moon in 2025. She is the second Indigenous astronaut to space. John Herrington, Chickasaw, was the first Native American in space during his voyage on the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-113 mission in 2002. 

Wednesday, Oct. 5 (Eastern Time)

12 p.m. – Dragon Launch Time

1:30 p.m. — Post Launch News Conference on NASA TV

Thursday, Oct. 6 (Eastern Time)

4:57 p.m. — Docking to the International Space Station

6:42 p.m. – Hatch Opening

8:15 p.m. – Welcome Ceremony

Haili Bekes, Navajo, caught the take off the the first Indigenous woman into space from Florida. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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