Durability is on the way to the International Space Station. Exactly at 7:27 p.m. ET, a SpaceX Falcon 9 memorial burst into life at Launch Complex 39A, its engines running off the coast of Florida. The perfect launch of the gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon – under the pseudonym Resilience – signs.
“Working together in these difficult times, you inspired the nation, the world and, to a lesser extent, the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience,” said Michael Hopkins, commander of the Crew-1 spacecraft before launch.
Durability is a traffic issue. Not since the end of Space Shuttle in 2011 did NASA send humans into orbit from US soil on an operational mission. The start of this mission has been delayed, pushed and postponed many times – the original schedule included a start date of November 2016. Four yearsDurability is in flight.
Crew Dragon contains an international assembly of astronauts: Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, co Sochi Nogchi of the Japanese space agency JAXA. The team is expected to spend the next six months on the International Space Station.
“This is a wonderful day for the United States of America and a wonderful day for Japan,” NASA Director Jim Bridenstine told a post-release conference. “The big milestone here is that we are now moving away from development and testing to business flights.”
“I look forward to enjoying the new era and going together for the future,” said Hiroshi Sasaki, JAXA Vice President.
Just less than 10 minutes after launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster landed safely on the Just Read The Instructions aircraft stationed in the Atlantic. It was the first time the reusable rocket was used on a mission and the plan is to reuse it on SpaceX Crew Dragon’s next operational flight, Crew-2.
The Crew-2 is expected to be launched in March 2021 and will carry four astronauts again. It will reuse the Crew Dragon Endeavor, which was first used in the SpaceX Demo-2 mission in May.
Shortly afterwards, about 12 minutes later, Resilience broke away from the second stage and moved on. The spacecraft will now be chasing the ISS and will be docked with the station on November 16 at approximately 11 p.m. ET.
This is not the first time a Falcon 9 rocket has delivered a Crew Dragon spacecraft into space. In May, it was NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. But that was it test mission, the last box to be marked before business officially begins for NASA’s commercial crew program.
Crew-1 marks the return of business flights to US territory and the first flight to the CCP. Until now, NASA has been buying flights with the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Flying SpaceX, NASA will save about $ 25 million per space.
NASA has also signed a contract with Boeing to deliver astronauts to the ISS, butduring the first launch of the show.