At 7:30 p.m., a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), reopening the way for regular manned missions into space for NASA for the first time in nine years.
The powerful rocket, developed by the commercial space travel company started by Tesla founder Elon Musk, took just twelve minutes to reach the point where the Dragon capsule detached from its rocket and took off into space, where 27 hours later it was docked autonomously. on the ISS.
“It was an incredible journey,” said the mission commander. Mike hopkins he said as the Dragon capsule entered orbit.
As part of the first commercial Crew-1 program, NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon walker, along with astronaut JAXA Soichi noguchi, joined Commander Hopkins aboard the Dragon on what will be a six-month mission.
GNN has been reported the first Falcon 9 rocket had left Earth’s surface as part of a resupply mission to the ISS. Having used the Falcon 9 In May launch a Dragon capsule to the ISS as part of a test, and again last month to launch a satellite, NASA and SpaceX are returning humans to space in what will be the first mission as part of the next chapter of research and exploration.
In fact, according to SpaceX, Crew-1 is the first of three commercial trips to run through 2020 and 2021, paving the way for trips to the Moon, Mars and more.
A series of novelties
According to National Geographic, the team of Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi will record a series of “firsts” on their six-month journey. They will return in May 2021, when the capsule will parachute into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida at around the same time as the Crew-2 mission to go live The other way.
Having had to rely on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for nearly a decade, it will be the first American-made spacecraft to take astronauts into space in nine years. Pilot Victor Glover is the first black astronaut to make an extended stay aboard the ISS, and engineer Shannon Walker is the first woman to orbit a commercial spacecraft.
“I hope to be the first of many,” Walker told Nat Geo about his flight. “And I look forward to the day when we don’t have to notice such events.”
“It’s something to celebrate once we get it done,” Glover apparently added. “I am honored to be in this position.”
Noguchi is the most experienced astronaut of them all, having logged 177 days in space aboard NASA spacecraft and Soyuz spacecraft.
Now that NASA has a reliable, state-of-the-art rocket and capsule, they may very well want to make up for lost time, and the hodgepodge of research being conducted over the half-year stay reflects that.
According to Nat Geo, the research will include “observing how astronauts ‘brains and hearts respond to the space environment, growing radishes in orbit, testing a spacesuit with new isolation technologies, and studying how different diets affect astronauts’ health.”
SpaceX hopes to rapidly expand its capabilities to reach the Moon and Mars soon in the not too distant future. Knowing the answers to these research questions will be imperative for the years-long voyages that such future expeditions will entail.
(CLOCK NASA video of the historic launch below).
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