At 7:27 a.m. ET on Sunday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster burst to life at Kennedy Space Center’s launch complex 39A, its engines illuminating the Florida coast. Picture-perfect launch of Gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon spacecraft – eponymous flexibility.
Since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has sent humans into orbit from American Earth in an operational mission. The launch for this particular mission was delayed, pushed several times and postponed – the original timeline included the November 2017 launch date., Flexibility is now docked with the International Space Station.
Crew-1 spacecraft commander Michael Hopkins said before the launch, “By working together in these difficult times, you have not inspired the name of this incredible vehicle, the Resilience,” in the country, the world and in any small part.
The docking was scheduled to take place at 8 pm PT and was essentially correct on time. However, the shadow obscured the view of the crew of the space station, and the astronauts decided to make a small catch of 20 meters from the docking adapter. After waiting for the “sunset” and the shadow to go away, the Resilience made contact with the ISS and officially “soft captured” at 8:01 pm PT and docked at around 8:15 pm PT.
“This is a new era of operational flights from the Florida coast to the International Space Station,” said Hopkins on docking.
Crew Dragon held an international gathering of astronauts: Hopkins, Victor Glover of NASA and Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese space agency, JXA. After a handful of security checks and a reception at early Tuesday morning, the team will have to work on science experiments and maintenance. He is expected to spend the next six months at the station. The dragon is capable of being autonomous and according to NASA requirements, the dragon is rated to remain at the station for 210 days.
The launch was celebrated by representatives of NASA and SpaceX at a post-launch conference on Sunday. “It’s a great day for the United States and a great day for Japan,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein said. “The major milestone here is that we are now moving away from development and trials and into operational flights.”
“I look forward to enjoying the new era and moving forward for the future,” said Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president of JAXA.
Less than 10 minutes after launch, the first stage Falcon 9 booster landed safely on the Just Read the Instructions droneship deployed at Atlantic. This was the first time the reusable rocket was used in a mission and it is planned for it to be reused on the next operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Crew-2.
The Crew-2 is scheduled to launch in March 2021 and will again carry four astronauts. This crew will re-use the Dragon Endeavor, first used in the SpaceX Demo-2 mission in May.
About 12 minutes later, Likeness split off from the second leg and went on his way.
This is not the first time a Falcon 9 rocket has brought a crew Drew spacecraft into space. In May, NASA astronauts Bob Bacon and Doug Hurley were. But it was a test mission, the last box to be ticked for operation before officially commencing for NASA’s commercial crew program.
Crew-1 signals the return of operational flights to US soil and the first flight at the CCP. Until recently, NASA was buying flights on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Flying SpaceX, NASA will save approximately $ 25 million per seat.
NASA has also contracted Boeing to deliver astronauts to the ISS, butDuring its first launch without performance.
You can do this.
Updated November 17: Added docking success, changed headline