On 30 May, NASA and SpaceX got the Falcon 9 into space. It ignited the engines, and cosmonauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken entered the upper atmosphere.
It is the first flight with crew to be launched from American soil on a rocket manufactured in the U.S. in almost 10 years, and the first by a private company.
A commercial spaceship has carried astronauts onto the International Space Station for the first time ( ISS) has described the joint mission of NASA and Elon Musk ‘s company SpaceX Demo-2 as historic. SpaceX has developed and tested a series of space rockets and capsules capable of bringing cargo and people into space without any difficulty.
Heating up engines
Both Bob and Doug had twice manned the space shuttle missions. For almost three weeks they were in quarantine and got checked periodically to ensure that COVID-19 did not harm them.
Until the flight, they decided to eat breakfast and undergo one more medical check-up.
They wore SpaceX space uniforms about four hours before leaving and said goodbye to their wives (both former astronauts) and children.
This time due to the coronavirus epidemic, there were not thousands of spectators gathered at a distance to observe the launch as usual. Instead, millions were able to experience it from their homes thanks to the broadcasts that NASA and SpaceX provided.
Behnken and Hurley’s length of stay aboard the spacecraft is not yet determined, but the Crew Dragon can stay in space for 114 days (16 weeks).
Jim Bridenstine said early August they could be returning to Earth.
After leaving the ISS, the astronauts will start their return until they land off Florida’s coast in the Atlantic.
Its descent will take place thanks to four parachutes, a similar tactic used to return the capsules of Apollo, although they reached the Pacific region.
Why is launching so important?
NASA has expended hundreds of millions each year to send cosmonauts on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft since 2011, the last time a manned launching was made in the US. It certainly is a crucial step toward restoring the prestige of America in the space race.
The SpaceX era
SpaceX and its managing director, Elon Musk, wanted to be part of the space exploration history of humanity. And with that goal in mind, he set out to develop an entire program that would allow people to get into space.
Along similar lines, the organization collaborated with NASA and began actively manufacturing rockets and delivering freight to the ISS, while evaluating the efficacy and health of their spacecraft.
Because of the great costs of this type of ambitious project, SpaceX developed the Falcon 9, a rocket that, unlike the propellers that used yesterday’s space shuttles, is able to re-enter the land and land on it. The vehicle is started off from, to be used again in future launches.
This Falcon 9 feature helps you to save massive sums of money and streamline space exploration by reusing the rockets in the shortest time possible.
SpaceX proved they can transport cargo and supplies to the ISS in an efficient and safe way with Crew Dragon, so only the next level, transport astronauts, remained to take.
Next stop: Mars and the Moon
Yet the aspirations of Elon Musk go far beyond just going out to space. He’s planning to go back to the Moon and continue the processes of getting to Mars. Undoubtedly a milestone in humanity’s history of space exploration.
Not only from SpaceX CEO, these ambitions have found a coincidence with Donald Trump’s administration, who is also interested in the United States surprising the world with another moon landing and the dream of reaching the red planet.
Getting to the Moon at the moment sounds much closer, as the distance that separates us is easier to face than a possible trip to Mars since it is estimated that it would take about 450 Earth days to reach the red planet. It would take to get to the Moon, compared to about 6 days.
Yet these numbers will not deter the excited NASA and SpaceX scientists and engineers who look forward to the conquest of Mars in the coming years.