December 2, 2020

NASA and SpaceX open a new stage of manned missions

Launch of the Falcon 9 reusable rocket from Cape Canaveral.

Launch of the Falcon 9 reusable rocket from Cape Canaveral.

Private company Spacex I send this Sunday your first manned operational mission to the International Space Station (EEI), after taking off successfully and at the appointed time from Cape Canaveral (Florida) a reusable Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on the cusp.

At around 7.40 p.m. local time (00.40 GMT on Monday), the capsule, called Resilience, was finally in orbit bound for the ISS with four astronauts inside, the Americans Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, and the Japanese Soichi Noguchi, and after separating from the Falcon 9 rocket, part of which was successfully landed on a platform in the Atlantic.

Signing Elon musk intends to use that part of the rocket for the next mission in association with the POT towards the ISS, which is scheduled to take place in March next year.

Which is the first of at least six missions that SpaceX will carry out to the ISS due to a $ 2.6 billion contract Signed with NASA in 2014, it finally managed to take off according to schedule, without setbacks and after a series of postponements from the scheduled date.

The Falcon 9 was supposed to take off at around 8 p.m. local time on Saturday, but both SpaceX and NASA decided to postpone takeoff until today due to bad weather caused by the tropical phenomenon Eta, which crossed north Florida and left flooding in this state due to heavy rains.

According to the mission directors, the weather conditions did not offer guarantees so that the platform that was to receive the Falcon 9 rocket in the Atlantic could reach its position.

SpaceX taxi service

The Dragon capsule is the first privately owned and operated spacecraft to be certified by NASA for manned spaceflight, following the success of the Demo-2 test mission with two astronauts on board. it took off to the ISS last May and returned to Earth without incident on 2 August.

The beginning of these manned missions means for NASA the possibility of embarking on regular missions to the ISS, and even for your programs to the Moon and Mars, in association with private companies in charge of building and designing spacecraft and rockets, which will function as a kind of space “taxis”.

After taking off from the historic platform 39A at Cape Canaveral, the same one from the Apollo 11 mission that reached the moon in 1969, the Dragon capsule should arrive at around 11 p.m. on Monday, US Eastern Time (04.00 GMT on Tuesday) at the ISS, a “space laboratory” orbiting about 250 miles (about 400 kilometers) above Earth, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Upon arrival at the space station, and after a trip in which the capsule will reach a speed of 27,000 kilometers per hour, the four astronauts will be received on the ISS by Kate Rubins, from NASA, and the Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud -Sverchkov, and they will stay there for six months.

Days earlier, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine pointed out that the ultimate goal of missions like Crew-1 is “have more resources to do things for which there is not yet a commercial market, like going to the Moon and Mars under the Artemis program. ”

“When we have more astronauts, a full replacement on the International Space Station, the amount of research that is going to be produced is going to be transformative,” he added.

The mission was originally supposed to have started on October 23, but was postponed to October 31 and then undated until NASA announced in late September that it would be November 14. On Friday, he announced that it was being postponed to the 15th.

The penultimate postponement was due to a problem with the Falcon 9 rocket engines being discovered during a flight not related to NASA’s program.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who announced on Friday that he had four tests of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the same place and with the same nurse (two were negative and two were positive), placed a heart on his Twitter account when the capsule successfully separated from the Falcon 9 rocket.


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