US Astronauts lands in the worldwide space station
01 Juin, 2020, 05:52 | Auteur: Therese Cote
A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying two NASA astronauts docked Sunday with the International Space Station, the first time a crewed U.S. spacecraft has performed the feat in almost a decade.
After a successful docking, hatches between the two spacecraft will be opened at about 12:45 p.m. Crew members Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken will be welcomed aboard the International Space Station and become members of the Expedition 63 crew. Although the space station orbits at around 220 miles above the planet, it took nearly a day for the Dragon to rendezvous with the moving laboratory.
Trump thanked the Crew Dragon astronauts, as well as NASA and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, for the success of the mission, singling out Musk in particular as someone who "truly embodies the American ethos" by taking a risk founding the company.
It is the final major step required by SpaceX's astronaut carrier, the Crew Dragon, to get certified by Nasa's Commercial Crew Programme for long-term manned missions to space.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said it was a "great day" for NASA and SpaceX and an "important milestone for the nation".
"To our SpaceX colleagues, bravo on a magnificent moment in spaceflight history and on the start of a new journey that has changed the face of space travel in this new era of space transportation".
While cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, Roscosmos executive director for crewed space programmes, saluted the United States achievement in a brief video address, not everyone was in such a gracious mood. Boeing's spaceship, the Starliner capsule, is not expected to fly astronauts until early 2021.
"And so it was not quite the same ride, the smooth ride, as the Space Shuttle was".
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"When we were losing the launches market, Roscosmos said everything was fine because we were the only ones sending people up to the ISS". His crewmate batted around a sparkly purplish toy, demonstrating that they had reached zero gravity.
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. But its Starliner spacecraft encountered significant problems during a test mission without crews late previous year and had to cut that flight short.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off in Florida.
Behnkhen and Hurley will then join fellow NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts on board the station.
Musk, the founder of PayPal and the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, was emotional at a press conference following the launch, which was attended by Donald Trump and Mike Pence, the USA vice-president. The space station was 262 statute miles above the border of northern China and Mongolia when the docking occurred.
The Dragon capsule was created to self-dock at the ISS. "We're going to stay vigilant until we bring them safely home".
"This is an incredible time to be at Nasa ... new vehicles to be flown, continuing missions in lower earth orbit and then to the moon and Mars".
NASA has yet to decide how long Hurley and Behnken will spend at the space station, somewhere between one and four months.
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