HISTORIC: SpaceX and NASA Take Astronauts To The International Space Station.
If you want to relive the firt attempt as it happened, you can click here.
Strap yourselves in as the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is the first private spacecraft to take NASA astronauts to the Space Station. SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with the most advanced systems ever built. This mission is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
This is the moment both NASA and SpaceX have been preparing for since 2010 when they launched the beginning of the Commercial Crew program. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are both set to make the initial trips to the International Space Station. If everything goes as planned, SpaceX would launch astronauts during regular operational missions to and from the Space Station later this year.
Last year, SpaceX successfuly launched the Crew Dragon Capsule to the Space Station without a crew on board. They also built and demonstrated an emergency escape system where the Dragon Capsule can carry the crew back to safety if something goes wrong. During their decades long prep, they also ran into some problems, like rocket failures and the explosion of a Crew Dragon capsule. But SpaceX has since recovered and taken those experiences as “gifts” that helped them build a much better and safer product.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has taken off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Both astronauts Behnken and Hurley were fitted with SpaceX’s custom pressure suits and have made their way to the launchpad at around 12:25 PM ET in a white Tesla Model X. Upon arrival, the astonauts took an elevator to the top of the Falcon 9 rocket and walked through a hallway known as the “crew access arm” which leads to the inside of the Capsule. Once inside, SpaceX began fueling the rocket. Things then started to move quickly. Liftoff was scheduled for 3:22PM ET.
Around 12 minutes after liftoff, The Falcon 9 rocket released the two astronauts into low earth’s orbit. The Falcon 9 rocket successfuly returned back to Earth and landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean called ‘Of Course I Still Love You‘. For the next 19 hours, the astronauts will orbit earth and periodically ignite its engines with the aim of catching up to the International Space Station. Eventually, the Capsule’s autonomous docking system – which features a series of sensors and cameras – will help the fly itself and hook onto an open docking port which would take place at 2:27PM ET on Sunday, May 31st.
This mission lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2020
Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon will lift off from Launch Complex 39A – the same place Saturn V launched humanity to the Moon and from where the first and final Space Shuttle missions lifted off pic.twitter.com/wOSsbCRqi7
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 25, 2020
While in orbit, Dragon will perform a series of phasing maneuvers to position itself for rendezvous and docking with the @space_station, which is targeted for ~10:30 a.m. EDT on May 31 pic.twitter.com/OUTJZS2oYR
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2020
"American astronauts returned to space on an American rocket from American soil for the first time in nearly 10 years. You did it." – @VP Pence offers congratulations on #LaunchAmerica. pic.twitter.com/bpvoCeCr9U
— NASA (@NASA) May 30, 2020
President Trump watches the NASA SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 Launch And Gives His Comments:
We wish everyone involved good luck. America needs this right now.
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