SpaceX Dragon capsule arrives at launch pad ahead of Crew-7 liftoff (photos)

a white conical dragon spacecraft sits in a large room with silver and black walls
SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endurance is seen at NASA's Kennedy Space Center ahead of its planned Aug. 25, 2023 liftoff on the Crew-7 astronaut mission. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule Endurance has made it to the launch pad ahead of next week's planned astronaut liftoff.

Endurance just arrived at Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, SpaceX announced via X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday (Aug. 17). The capsule had previously been at a SpaceX refurbishment facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which is next door to KSC.

If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A, carrying four astronauts toward the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX's Crew-7 mission.

Related: SpaceX Crew-7 astronaut plans to snap aurora photos on the ISS

A close-up look at the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endurance at Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Thursday's X post also featured two shots of the white capsule, whose unblemished surface belies its considerable spaceflight experience. 

Endurance also flew the Crew-3 and Crew-5 astronaut missions to the ISS for NASA, which launched in November 2021 and October 2022, respectively.

Crew-7 is a fully international affair, featuring astronauts from four different countries. They are NASA's Jasmin Moghbeli, Endurance's commander; Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency, who will serve as pilot; mission specialist Konstantin Borisov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos; and mission specialist Satoshi Furukawa of Japan.

The quartet will spend about six months aboard the orbiting lab. Their arrival at the ISS will be followed in relatively short order by the departure of the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts, who have been living on the station since March 3.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.