SpaceX Astronauts Dock with International Space Station

01 Juin, 2020, 07:57 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • NASA astronauts head for ISS on historic SpaceX flight - The Jakarta Post

"In that vein, let's just say, for those about to launch, we salute you".

However, while U.S. -Russia worldwide relations may remain hot-and-cold on the ground, in orbit astronauts from the two nations get along nicely. But its Starliner spacecraft encountered significant problems during a test mission without crews late previous year and had to cut that flight short.

That left SpaceX, which also had encountered problems in developing its spacecraft, in the lead to be first to launch with astronauts on board.

If all goes well with the Demo-2 test flight, SpaceX will soon begin launching astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA as well as other space agencies and private companies.

A cam from the Space Station captured the docking procedure. check out the red, white and green lights that signify the progress as the Dragon capsule bellies up to its host.

"I have never seen a crew so calm and focused leading up to a launch as these two were", said NASA Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester, who has lived with the Demo-2 crew in quarantine inside Kennedy Astronaut Crew Quarters for the past several days.

The docking was a fully automated process; Hurley and Behnken had no need to get involved - although they had practised some manual flying on approach. At 4:45 a.m., the controllers on the ground played Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan", a slow, nearly mystical tune that mixes guitar and bongos and is about "taking a spaceship out to the stars", a band member once said.

"We were surprised, I think, at how well we actually slept aboard the vehicle".

While SpaceX has been delivering cargo to and from the ISS since 2012, it is the first time that it used its spacecraft to transport humans to the orbiting laboratory.

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Behnken said the SpaceX capsule is a "lot different than its namesake" in that "it has touch display screens".

"For the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle you have completed a historic ride to the ISS and have opened up a new chapter in human space exploration", Joshua Kutryk, a space station mission controller declared.

And then, at 10:16 a.m., Endeavour's slow, smooth glide to the station ended with a kiss as the station flew over China and Mongolia. No more will it own and operate the American vehicles that run to and from the station.

While in orbit, they will help their fellow astronauts in maintaining the station as well as carry out scientific experiments and tests.

"Today onboard the [station], the three crew members, Chris Cassidy, Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin, are getting ready to have their additional crewmates onboard", said Kirk Shireman, manager of NASA's International Space Station Program.

"This is just one effect, that we can show for the ages, in this dark time that we have had over the last few months, to kind of inspire, especially these young people in the United States", he said.

"It's been way too long", Jim Bridenstine, the Nasa administrator, said of the launch.

"Welcome to Bob and Doug", said Mr Bridenstine.

The U.S. and Russian Federation, formerly the Soviet Union, have been competitive about space exploration for decades.


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