A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on top took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida
November 15, 2020 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShareThis was the launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket
NASA and the SpaceX company successfully sent the first operational manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from US soil this Sunday from Cape Canaveral (Florida) , after bad weather caused by tropical storm Eta forced it to be postponed. for almost 24 hours.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on top of it took off from Kennedy Space Center a day later than expected. That is, at 7:27 p.m. local time on Sunday, November 15 (00.27 hours GMT on Monday, November 16), with four astronauts on board: Shannon Walker , Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover , and Soichi Noguchi.
The capsule successfully separated from the second stage of the rocket and, according to a SpaceX team member speaking over the radio, had achieved “insertion into nominal orbit.” That means the capsule is currently on the correct trajectory to reach the ISS. The crew will dock at their destination around 11:00 pm Monday night (0400 GMT Tuesday) , joining two Russians and an American aboard the station, and they will stay for six months.
Minutes after the launch, the president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden , and the current president, Donald Trump , spoke on social networks.
Joe Biden's tweet
“Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on today's launch. It is a testament to the power of science and what we can achieve by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity and determination. I join all Americans and the people of Japan in wishing the astronauts good luck on their journey, “ wrote the Democratic leader.
The Republican president, for his part, stated: “A great launch! NASA was a mess when we took over. Now it is again the most advanced space center in the world, by far! ”
Donald Trump's tweet
Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the launch with his wife Karen, called it “a new era in human space exploration in America . “ They were joined by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and his wife Michelle .
It is the second manned flight for SpaceX, a private company founded by businessman Elon Musk, which will now take NASA astronauts into space after nine years of US dependence on Russian Soyuz rockets.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, carries four astronauts on NASA's first commercial crew mission (REUTERS / Tom Baur)
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 .
The Falcon 9 rocket took off from the Kenndy Space Center (REUTERS / Thom Baur)
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.
Crew-1 mission en route to International Space Station (REUTERS / Thom Baur)
“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”.
The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket had to be postponed for 24 hours due to tropical storm Eta (REUTERS / Steve Nesius)
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.
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
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.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket crew members, Commander Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)
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.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)
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.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX (REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst)
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.
The Crew Dragon is the first NASA-certified spacecraft since the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)
The Crew Dragon earlier this week became the first NASA-certified spacecraft since the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago. It is a capsule, similar in shape to the spacecraft that preceded the Space Shuttle , and its launch vehicle is a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. At the end of their missions, the Dragon crew deploys parachutes and then plunges into the water, as in the time of Apollo.
NASA turned to SpaceX and Boeing after shutting down the checkered space shuttle program in 2011, which failed in its main goals of making space travel affordable and safe.
With information from EFE and AFP