A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on top will blast off this afternoon
November 15, 2020 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShare
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is poised to carry four astronauts on NASA's first commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida
NASA and the SpaceX company remain confident of being able to send the first manned operational mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from US soil on Sunday from Cape Canaveral (Florida), after bad weather caused by tropical storm Eta force to postpone it for almost 24 hours.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on top will take off, if the weather does not prevent it , one day later than expected, that is at 19:27, local time, on Sunday, November 15 (00.27 hours GMT). Monday 16), with four astronauts on board.
Once it is separated from the rocket, which is reusable, the capsule, dubbed Resilience for this mission, will arrive at the ISS at around 11:00 p.m. on Monday (4:00 GMT on Tuesday).
The mission had to be postponed one day, it was scheduled for yesterday Saturday, due to the bad weather generated by tropical storm Eta, which on Thursday crossed the entire northern part of Florida and continued its journey in Atlantic waters after leaving heavy flooding in this state .
According to the mission managers, the weather conditions did not offer guarantees that the platform that should receive the Falcon 9 rocket will reach its position in the Atlantic Ocean.
Part of the rocket is scheduled to be used again in the next manned mission to NASA's space station and SpaceX in March.
“The weather was such due to this tropical storm that we could not get the drone (platform) to leave on time and get there,” said Benji, director of Space X's Manned Space Flight Program at a Cape Canaveral press conference. Reed.
In turn, Steve Stich, from NASA's Commercial Crew Program, pointed out that the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that will be used in the flight of the Crew-1 mission will be reused for “the Crew-2 mission that is coming in spring”.
NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who form Crew 1, walk into the Kennedy Space Center before the launch of the first mission NASA / SpaceX crew commercial at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA
Aboard the capsule are an astronaut from the US space agency, Shannon Walker, and two male colleagues, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, as well as Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who will be received on the ISS by Kate Rubins of NASA , and the Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
The four astronauts have been at Kennedy Space Center for days and on Thursday boarded the spacecraft for a series of tests before launch.
This is the first of at least six missions that SpaceX will carry out to the ISS under a $ 2.6 billion contract signed with NASA in 2014, which includes manned and other cargo flights.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Friday that the ultimate goal of missions like Crew-1 is “to have more resources to do things for which there is not yet a commercial market, such as going to the Moon and to Mars under the Artemis program ”.
“When we have more astronauts, a complete replacement on the International Space Station, the amount of research that is going to be produced is going to be transformative,” he added.
The Crew-1 mission was preceded by the historic Demo-2 test trip, which began on May 30.
On that mission, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley traveled to the ISS and after two months returned to earth in the same capsule, which fell into the Gulf of Mexico in a controlled and smooth manner on August 2.
The six-month Crew-1 mission was originally scheduled to start on October 23, but was postponed to October 31 and then undated until NASA announced in late September that it would be November 14. On Friday, he announced that it was being postponed to the 15th.
The penultimate postponement was due to a problem with the Falcon 9 rocket's motors being discovered during a flight not related to NASA's program.
With information from EFE
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