A historic event. After SpaceX postponed it due to bad weather, it did. The Crew Dragon capsule launched from the Kennedy Space Center on a Falcon 9 rocket. Two astronauts set off. Your destination is the International Space Station. It is the first manned US flight on a US spacecraft and from US soil since 2011. This year the space shuttle flights end. And it also means that the era of commercial space travel is beginning
Docking takes place on May 31 at 10:29 a.m. ET: https://t.co/A9sbAYbCl3 pic.twitter.com/IyWkZN1HSH
– NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) May 30, 2020
Douglas Harley and Robert Behnken took off on schedule at 19:23 UTC. It came from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission should start on May 27th. But bad weather had to be postponed to Saturday 30th.
On the way to the ISS
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage separated two minutes after launch. She headed for the ground in a controlled manner. The second stage of the rocket was activated to put astronauts into orbit at supersonic speeds. The Crew Dragon separated from the second stage twelve minutes after the start. The journey to the space station is estimated to take around 19 hours.
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“It is an honor to be part of this huge effort to get the US back into the starting business.” This was stated by Doug Harley before the start.
NASA had been planning to outsource crew transportation to the International Space Station since the early 2000s. The Space Shuttle Columbia had had an accident in 2003 when it returned to Earth. From there, the space agency focused on developing a replacement spacecraft that could travel to the moon.
Without being dependent on Russia
Involving private companies in the transfer of the crew to the ISS was a necessary step in funding the program. In 2014, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and the aerospace giant Boeing were introduced. They were the winners of a NASA contract for the transport of crew members.
NASA withdrew from the space shuttle program in 2011. Since then she has paid for Russia. There are tens of millions of dollars to send their astronauts onto the Soyuz spacecraft.
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The crew of Dragon from Florida is the first person from US territory in nine years. It is seen as a crucial step in restoring American prestige. in space race. It will also be the first time that a private company has put astronauts into orbit.
Do you remember that day, gentlemen? The era of commercial space begins … in the midst of a pandemic.