Flexibility on the way to the International Space Station. At 7:27 PM ET on Sunday, the enhanced SpaceX Falcon 9 spacecraft exploded at the Kennedy Space Center 39A Launch Complex, as its engines illuminated the Florida coast. The photo perfect launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft in the shape of the gumdrop – nicknamed the Resilience – marks.
“By working together during these difficult times, I have inspired the nation, the world, and in a small part of it, the name of this amazing craft, Resilience,” said Michael Hopkins, commander of the Crew-1 spacecraft before launch.
Flexibility is the topic of the launch. NASA has not sent humans into orbit from US soil on an operational mission since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. The launch of this special mission has been delayed, postponed, and postponed several times – the original schedule included the launch date in November 2016. Four yearsFlexibility in flight.
The Crew Dragon contains an international gathering of astronauts: HopkinsAnd the Victor Glover And the Shannon Walker NASA Plus Soichi Noguchi Japan Space Agency JAXA. The team is expected to spend the next six months on the International Space Station.
“This is a great day for the United States of America and a great day for Japan,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said at the post launch conference. “The big achievement here is that we are now moving away from development and testing and into operational flights.”
“I look forward to enjoying the new era and going together for the future,” said Hiroshi Sasaki, Vice President of JAXA.
Less than 10 minutes after launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster landed safely aboard the Just Read The Instructions drone stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first time that the reusable missile has been used on a mission, and the plan is to reuse it on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon’s next operational flight, Crew-2.
Crew-2 is scheduled to launch in March 2021 and will once again carry four astronauts. It will reuse the Crew Dragon Endeavor, which was first used on the SpaceX Demo-2 mission in May.
Soon after, at about 12 minutes, the flexibility detached from the second stage and headed its way. The spacecraft will now chase the International Space Station and dock with the station on November 16 at around 11 PM ET.
This is not the first time that a Falcon 9 rocket has transported the Crew Dragon spacecraft into space. In May, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were astronauts. But this was a file Test Mission, the last square to be decided before operations officially begin for the NASA Commercial Crew Program.
Crew-1 marks the return of operational flights to US soil and the first flight in CCP. Until today, NASA has been purchasing flights on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Flying SpaceX will save NASA about $ 25 million per seat.
NASA has also contracted with Boeing to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station, howeverDuring the first launch of an unmanned demonstration.