SpaceX’s Crew Dragon arrives for its date with destiny

25 Mai, 2020, 15:20 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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With 2 hours and 15 minutes left on the timer, Behnken and Hurley will enter the Crew Dragon spacecraft through a new elevated access arm, taking them to the small human module atop the tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

"Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security", Trump said in a statement ahead of the visit, which will underline his push for a return to work in the USA amid the coronavirus pandemic. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will step inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and blast off to the International Space Station, with launch scheduled for Wednesday (May 27). He recently oversaw creation of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 stands at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for a historic Crew Dragon launch. The finish line of NASA's Commercial Crew program is fast approaching.

Two US astronauts have completed a dress rehearsal ahead of their groundbreaking journey to the International Space Station in a partnership between NASA and SpaceX.

The Crew Dragon capsule the rocket is propelling will dock at the station before being used in several months to carry the astronauts back to Earth. The capsule was tested in January.

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SpaceX's program revolves around reusing key components, including capsules and rockets. NASA has only one crew member now aboard the station.

The practice hearkens back to NASA's early days: Project Mercury's John Glenn became the first American to circle the Earth aboard Friendship 7; Gemini 3's Gus Grissom and John Young sailed into orbit aboard Molly Brown; and Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins flew to the moon aboard Columbia.

NASA has discouraged spectators, citing the pandemic, and is limiting the number of visitors inside the space center. NASA awarded both Boeing and SpaceX contracts as part of the program, with the companies' Starliner and Crew Dragon spacecraft both undergoing unmanned test flights past year, with varying degrees of success. Today, during their final pre-flight news briefing, they said they understood the risk trade-offs that NASA and SpaceX were making. It will be the first trip since then not related to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

Pence previously said he would attend the launch. Although NASA has still managed to maintain a continuous presence at the International Space Station over the last nine years by paying Russia's space agency more than $4 billion for roughly six dozen seats on Soyuz spacecraft, Demo-2 will be NASA's first astronaut launch from the United States since June 2011.

"When that rocket goes off next week, it'll remind the American people that even in the midst of the most challenging times, America still moves forward", the vice president told Fox News during an interview at NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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