On the morning of May 28, SpaceX and NASA delayed a manned space launch because of the weather. The next launch window will be at 3:22 p.m. local time on May 30 (3:22 a.m. Beijing time on May 31). The New York Times wrote today that it analyzes and answers to one of the main issues of SpaceX’s delayed manned mission.
The launch was carried out by SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk. The company’s rocket will send two NASA astronauts into space, moving beyond the national space agency and ushering in a new era of human space flight.
Although communications with NASA officials are still required, spaceX is in the sole stake.
NASA played only a customer role in the launch, aiming to send Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s services are not unique to NASA, but to sell space flight services to other individuals, companies and even countries, which is expected to open a new chapter in the orbit around the Earth and open up new possibilities for tourism, manufacturing and research.
Compared with the grand mission of exploring the universe, the weather changes much smaller. But on Wednesday, it was these “more grounded gas” factors that forced the launch to be delayed.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence flew from Washington, D.C., to nasa’s Space Center to watch the launch.
Forty minutes before the scheduled launch time, the mission’s mission holder must decide whether to start injecting kerosene rocket fuel and liquid oxygen into the Falcon 9 fuel tank.
But with the sky still grey and there was a storm around the launch pad, they decided to try again on Saturday.
Why cancel the launch?
On the day of the launch, the drizzle dweuded down and fell. In the late afternoon, the rain stopped and the sky cleared.
At 4:33 p.m. EST, about 15 minutes before the scheduled launch time, a weather official, possibly a member of space force’s 45th Weather Squadron, informed SpaceX’s launch director that the weather conditions were not up to date. If the Falcon 9 can launch in 10 minutes, the mission could be advanced, the official said.
However, the lift-off time cannot be adjusted. In order for the spacecraft to dock with the international space passing over it, the lift-off time must be divided.
Because the weather in Florida is unpredictable and the stormy clouds can play out at any time, it’s not uncommon for a sudden stop mission, especially in Central Florida, even when the launch mission begins within minutes of the start.
Rocket launch decisions are subject to a series of detailed rules, all due to years of experience. For example, when wind speed exceeds a certain threshold or the cloud has a charge that is likely to be released with lightning, the launch mission is cancelled because the forced launch is likely to cause catastrophic damage to the crew or supplies.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s director, later explained the reasons for the cancellation via NASA TV, saying meteorologists were concerned that the lift-off could “trigger lightning” because of too much charge in the atmosphere.
He praised the launch team’s decision.
“No one should feel any pressure under any circumstances. He said, “If we’re not ready to launch, let’s not launch.” “
What is the established plan?
Astronauts Becken and Hurley became NASA astronauts in 2000 and have been friends and colleagues ever since.
They both served as military test pilots and had previously carried out two shuttle missions, but this was their first joint mission. Hurley completed the shuttle’s last mission in 2011.
In 2015, they were selected as astronauts working with Boeing and SpaceX to develop commercial spacecraft. In 2018, they will become SpaceX’s first astronauts.
Around 1 p.m., Becken and Hurley donned space suits. Musk and Bridenstine wore surgical masks and kept a social distance of about 1.8 meters with the astronauts. After a brief communication between the two sides, the two astronauts turned to the launch pad. Around the same time, NASA shared a video of Kelly Clarkson singing the U.S. national anthem.
Upon arrival at the launch pad, the two astronauts stopped on the launch pad and stepped into the javelin-like Falcon 9 rocket, which was almost as high as a football field. Then they walked into the elevator, made a few phone calls to their loved ones, walked across a bridge and entered the capsule. After a series of security checks, the hatch was closed.
SpaceX’s launch chief asked, “Are you ready?” One astronaut replied, “Ready.” “
Although the launch has been canceled, Becken and Hurley will have to be patient in the capsule waiting for crews to pull fuel out of the rocket. The procedure, which lasted about an hour, was designed to ensure their safety.
What is the mission?
SpaceX has never carried out a manned mission. Its Manned Dragon spacecraft is a fruit-sugar-shaped capsule that is an upgrade to SpaceX’s original Dragon capsule. Although the capsule has carried cargo to the space station on several occasions, it has never carried out a manned mission.
The Manned Dragon can hold up to seven people, but can only have four seats for NASA missions. If the launch is successful, it will ship four astronauts to the space station later this year.
Hero story unexpectedly postponed
Wednesday was supposed to be an important day for Mr. Trump. Even if the number of deaths from the new corona virus in the United States exceeds 100,000 on Wednesday, the launch will still be a magnificent prelude to a return to space from the U.S. mainland.
Immediately after leaving the New Corona outbreak prevention and control conference, he flew to Florida to witness first-hand the feat of putting NASA astronauts into orbit from the Continental United States for the first time in nearly a decade.
But in the White House, questions have been raised about whether the launch should go ahead as planned. Nasa officials said earlier in the morning that there was a 50 percent chance that the mission would be delayed because of the storm threat. Eventually, just minutes before the scheduled launch time, they finally issued an order to cancel the launch.
When he left Washington accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, Trump did not mention the number of deaths in the United States as a result of the new corona outbreak. It also continues his usual style of avoiding talk ingenuity. But before the scheduled launch, he hit back at critics on Twitter who criticized him for his poor response in the early stages of the outbreak.
On one side, the death toll from the outbreak has exceeded 100,000, and on the other, a commitment to a new era of space exploration, the interweaving of the two milestones is accidental, but not irrelevant. The outbreak has forced NASA to take special steps to ensure that astronauts do not carry the virus or bring it to the International Space Station. They also advised space junkies, who usually travel to the site to watch the launch, to stay at home and choose to witness the historic moment live online.
After the launch was canceled, Trump said on Twitter that he hoped to be there again in the next launch window.
What’s so special about spacesuits?
Michael Bay, the director of the 1998 cosmic disaster film Armageddon, revealed in an interview the worst crisis of the filmmaking.
“Three weeks before the start of the main photography job, I went to see the space suit. He said, “They’re like Adidas jogging clothes hanging on a shelf.” I almost committed suicide there. The reason, he says, is that without cool space suits, the whole movie will go down.
Apparently, Musk has the same obsession with cool space suits.
From the relevant design elements, it is not difficult to see this: astronauts Becken and Hurley, dressed in black and white space suits, jumped into the black-and-white Tesla, arrived at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, and climbed into the black-and-white SpaceX Manned Dragon capsule, ready to follow the Falcon 9 rocket to launch the International Space Station’s maiden voyage.
After all, style design is essential to capture the public’s imagination for space flight.
“Spacesuits highlight the charm of space hardware. “They evoke the human sensory experience,” said Catherine Lewis, curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Space Museum’s International Space Program and SpaceSuit. “
In fact, SpaceX’s most reminiscent of “007” James Bond’s dress is like a new space suit custom-made by “Iron Man” Tony Stark for “Star Trek” star James T. Kirk’s next adventure. The streamlined shape, graphic look and articulated design bring these spacesuits closer to the imagination of popular culture and comics, freeing them from NASA’s bloated past.
How long are they going to stay? What do you plan to do?
Becken and Hurley had planned to stay on the space station for only two weeks. But it was developed when NASA believed the mission would be carried out in 2019. NASA’s use of the Russian Endeavour capsule to transport U.S. astronauts has run out of seats as research and development efforts for the Manned Dragon spacecraft and Boeing Starliner spacecraft are delayed. They now face a shortage of staff on the space station: only one NASA astronaut, Christopher J. Cassidy, is currently working on the International Space Station with two Russian counterparts.
As a result, Becken and Hurley are now expected to stay on the space station for at least a month to help Cassidy. Becken trained in spacewalking, and Hurley used some training to learn how to operate the Canadian-made robotic arm of the space station.
Why is NASA working with SpaceX?
To replace the space shuttle, NASA decided to turn to two private companies, SpaceX and Boeing, which are essentially similar to car hire in space. After that, NASA will buy space capsule tickets for astronauts.
The plan is much cheaper than NASA’s own development of alternative spacecraft, but the capsule could face many delays in preparing for launch.
NASA under the Trump administration also wants to inspire more commercial uses of the International Space Station, including tourism. Despite the high fares, passengers can indeed buy space x space capsule seats for space travel. By the time Boeing’s capsule is developed, the same service may be available.
Why did NASA decide to retire the space shuttle?
The decision to retire the space shuttle was made in 2004 by President George W. Bush’s administration, just a year after the United States lost the space shuttle Columbia. Although the construction of the International Space Station is required with the help of the space shuttle, the construction of such aircraft makes it extremely difficult to fly and maintain. That’s why, combined with the huge costs of continuing operations, led the Bush administration to decide to use the money to help astronauts return to the moon’s Constellation program.
The space station was completed in 2011, when the shuttle was decommissioned. But the Obama administration decided the Constellation program was too expensive and canceled it. The Obama administration then launched a commercial manned space program that eventually spawned the Manned Dragon spacecraft and Boeing’s Starliner.
How do NASA astronauts get to the space station?
Astronauts have been living on the International Space Station for nearly 20 years. After the space shuttle was retired, NASA had to rely on Russia to transport astronauts. The Soyuz spacecraft costs tens of millions of dollars per seat.
The Soyuz is based on a model first built by the Soviet space program in the 1960s, which typically travels to and from the space station several times a year. With the launch of the commercial manned space mission, the number of Soyuz flights is likely to decrease. Practice has proved that this is a reliable human space vehicle. But in 2018, two astronauts were forced to take emergency landings after a problem with one of the rocket’s boosters during take-off.
NASA astronauts are likely to continue to fly on Soyuz, and Russian cosmonauts will fly spacecraft called SpaceX and Boeing into space so that the station’s personnel can familiarize themselves with different systems. However, NASA will no longer pay for Soyuz seats, but will swap the seats of Boeing or SpaceX for Soyuz seats.
Will the new corona outbreak keep people away?
NASA has urged viewers to stay away from the Kennedy Space Center and avoid the spread of a new corona caused by Wednesday’s launch of a SpaceX rocket. But officials around the launch site (the Space Coast) still expect a large influx of people.
NASA Administrator Brendan Sting last month asked people to watch the launch at home.
“When we launch from the Kennedy Space Center, it will attract thousands of people, but we don’t want that to happen now,” he said at a news conference. “
But outside the Kennedy Space Center, NASA has little control over the crowd.
At a May 1 news conference, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey instead encouraged people to watch the launch.
“We’re not going to stop the great Americans who want to come and watch the launch.” “If NASA tells people not to come here to watch the launch, it’s their business. I’ll tell people what I believe in as an American. So, NASA has their principles, and I have my principles. “
Peter Cranis, director of the Space Coast Tourism Authority, expects hundreds of thousands of people to flock to beaches and parks. He said more than a dozen beachfront hotels with thousands of rooms said their rooms had been booked before the launch. He predicted that the new corona outbreak might deter some, but many still wantto see the historic moment for themselves.
Don Walker, communications director for the Brevard County Emergency Management Agency, expects a large crowd to flood the beach and the road, and department staff will ask spectators to maintain a personal distance of at least 1.8 meters.
“From the crowds on Memorial Day weekend, I think people are ready to go out. “They seemed happy to be able to go out and walk. “
Is there a risk of bringing the new corona virus into space?
NASA monitors the health of astronauts, and both NASA and SpaceX have taken steps to limit the number of people in contact with the two astronauts.
Two weeks before launch, astronauts will enter the quarantine zone, but will not be strictly isolated from everyone else. For example, in the middle of the separation, Becken and Hurley would fly from Houston, where they lived and trained, to Kennedy Space Center for a launch mission. After landing, they answered reporters’ questions together with NASA Director Brendan Sting, but they kept enough distance.
They were also tested for the virus.
“So far, we have been tested at least twice. Becken said, “There are rumors that we may be tested again before we leave.” So I think there seems to be a lot of things overall. “