SpaceX’s stakes have never been higher. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, a space exploration technology company, will launch for the first time, delivering two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. Due to the weather, the launch time was changed to 3:22 p.m. on the 30th (3:22 a.m. Beijing time on the 31st). If successful, it marks the first time ever that a commercial aerospace company has brought humans into Earth orbit. NASA and space junkies have been waiting for the milestone for nearly a decade.
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Manned spaceflight is very difficult and expensive. Rockets must be reliable, vehicles must be equipped with expensive life support systems, and have a degree of redundancy. So far, only Russia, the United States and China have achieved this feat.
For SpaceX, this is another step toward Sbeyond, but in a broader sense, it suggests that space flight is not necessarily the exclusive preserve of the most powerful nations.
The launch of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is still moving forward, as the world remains shrouded in a new corona epidemic, with businesses and governments affecting the normal functioning of the spacecraft. NASA says it must continue its mission to ensure that U.S. astronauts are fully staffed at the International Orbital Station.
Jim Bradenstein, the space agency’s top official, also expressed the hope that the launch would inspire and inspire people affected by the ongoing outbreak.
Why is SpaceX’s manned launch important?
The United States has not sent its astronauts into space again since the end of the space program in 2011. Since then, NASA astronauts have had to travel to Russia and train on Aedes ave. Each astronaut’s training costs NASA $86 million.
But NASA doesn’t choose to create its own successor. Instead, it has partnered with capable companies to develop spacecraft that can safely transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It’s a controversial decision, but commercial companies can cut costs and spur innovation, and NASA will have more time and resources to focus on deeper exploration of the solar system, such as the Artemis project, which aims to send humans to the moon by 2024.
In March, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley (right) conducted a full simulation of the launch and docking of the Dragon spacecraft.
The early success of the 2010 shift in U.S. space policy to SpaceX offers an opportunity. In 2014, Both SpaceX and Boeing won contracts with NASA to provide commercial launch services. So far, SpaceX appears to have delivered on its promise to reduce the cost of human spaceflight. NASA will pay only $110 million for SpaceX’s upcoming space station flight, compared with an average of $1.6 billion for a space shuttle mission.
In 2014, NASA signed two contracts: $4.2 billion for Boeing to build starliner vehicles and $2.6 billion for SpaceX to build a manned Dragon spacecraft that previously transported cargo to the International Space Station. By then, NASA had invested in SpaceX’s development of the Dragon spacecraft. NASA says Boeing is getting more money because it needs to design Starliner from scratch.
Boeing suffered a major setback recently when the Starliner capsule malfunctioned during a crucial spiral-free test flight. In another piece of cooperation, it would be a major victory for NASA if SpaceX were to carry out a manned rocket launch mission.
Not to mention, the United States could no longer rely on Russia and send its own astronauts.
When and where does it take off?
NASA and SpaceX were scheduled to carry out a manned space flight Wednesday afternoon EST from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But when he is weather-dlongy, NASA will relaunch on the afternoon of May 30, ET.
The rocket will take off from the historic Pad 39A launch pad, where the Apollo-era missions began, including the first moon landing in 1969 and are now leased by SpaceX from NASA.
Is it safe to launch during a pandemic?
According to NASA, the answer is yes.
The astronauts have been in strict isolation and have been tested for at least two rounds of viruses.
NASA, SpaceX and military personnel will need to gather in the control room to support the launch, and they have implemented other security measures, such as replacing the control room at the start of a new shift to clean the other room in depth.
NASA also urged people to stay away from the Kennedy launch center and encourage live broadcasts at home to prevent an increased risk of new coronavirus infection. As of 8:30 p.m. local time on the 28th, the total number of deaths from new coronary pneumonia in the United States was 101,573, and the cumulative number of confirmed cases was 1720,613, far more than in any other country.
Elon Musk, the long-time chief executive of SpaceX, has repeatedly expressed his views on the new crown outbreak online, calling the U.S. response too exaggerated and calling for the lifting of the quarantine policy, and his Tesla plant, which has been forced to start despite the ban. In an interview with Bloomberg, Musk said the new U.S. crown data is unreliable.
Who’s flying into space?
The Dragon’s manned launch was a long-awaited mission for two NASA women, Megan McArthur and Karen Nyberg, but it was their husbands, two also experienced astronauts from NASA: Robert Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53.
The four astronauts met during NASA’s summer training in 2000 and later married. Both male astronauts were bridesmaids at each other’s weddings, and for 20 years, the four astronauts took turns in space.
Meanwhile, the two soon-to-be astronauts have worked closely with SpaceX, training the Dragon spacecraft for two years. The Dragon spacecraft is the fifth NASA-certified spacecraft to safely carry out a manned launch, after Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and space buses.
Both astronauts began their careers as military test pilots, with hundreds of hours of flying experience and have been on missions to and from the International Space Station. NASA, which selected two for the mission as early as 2018, is destined to continue the glory of long-time military test pilots and be the perfect candidate to kick-start this historic moment in the history of manned spaceflight.
NASA hopes to keep Benken and Hurley on the station until the next Dragon spacecraft carries more people to the station. The two astronauts said they expect to stay on the space station for one to three months, up to a maximum of 110 days, and that at the end of the mission, they will once again take a Dragon spacecraft through the atmosphere and eventually land in the Atlantic Ocean.
What is a dragon ship? Is it safe?
It is a capsule-shaped spacecraft, about 4 meters in diameter, equipped with seven seats and touch screen controls.
The astronauts will enter orbit on a Dragon 9 carrier rocket, and the astronauts will use the aerial “occupant entry arm” to enter the cabin on the day of launch. After the rocket sends the Dragon spacecraft into high altitude, it will separate and light its own thruster to continue its journey to the space station.
The entire system of the Dragon spacecraft is fully automated, and astronauts only need to operate on the screen and stay in touch with the command center. Astronauts also don’t plan to carry extra large bags. The astronauts will stay on the spacecraft for 19 hours before they reach the International Space Station.
SpaceX and NASA have signed on to secure the dragon spacecraft’s safety development plan to ensure the safe execution of major missions. The Dragon spacecraft is also equipped with a unique emergency suspension system designed to ensure safety in the event of a problem.
Although there is no 100 percent way to avoid risk completely, NASA has tried to ensure that the Dragon spacecraft’s catastrophic probability of failure is 1/270. After many tests and calculations, the number of failures in 135 flights was 2.
What is the International Space Station?
The International Space Station has been orbiting the Earth for two decades and is operated mainly by the United States and Russia. Over the years, 240 astronauts from 19 countries have visited the space station. Thousands of scientific experiments have been conducted here, including human responses to space, new drug development, and more.
Usually there are about six astronauts on the space station, and there are currently only three NASA astronauts.
How much will the task cost?
Over the past decade, it has cost an average of $55.4 million to fly an astronaut on a Russian Soyuz, up to a maximum of $86 million, according to a 2019 NASA report.
The same report estimated that NASA would pay about $55 million per person for a Dragon spacecraft launch.
Overall, NASA’s commercial “outsourcing” program is cost-effective compared to previous U.S. plans for human space flight, according to a new study by the nonprofit Planetary Association.
How difficult is SpaceX to get this far?
Over the years, SpaceX’s relationship with NASA has grown considerably. In the 2000s, SpaceX’s first rocket launch attempts failed, and the company nearly went bankrupt in 2008 before safely putting the early Falcon 1 rocket into orbit. After that, NASA signed a $16 billion contract with SpaceX to allow the Dragon spacecraft to transport cargo to the space station via the Falcon 9 carrier rocket.
Since then, SpaceX and NASA have worked closely together, with two failed launches. In 2015, a rocket sent 5,000 pounds of cargo to the space station and exploded as it entered orbit. In 2016, another Falcon 9 rocket blew up on a Florida launch pad, destroying a $200 million communications satellite.
But so far, most of the SpaceX launch has been smooth.
Last year, the ship’s emergency engine exploded while it was conducting ground tests. SpaceX spent months reconfiguring the spacecraft’s design to perform perfectly during a test flight in January.
Will the Dragon ship carry out another manned mission?
One of SpaceX’s main goals is to reduce the cost of space launches by reusing hardware. For example, a dragon ship carrying cargo has flown into space three times.
Since 2015, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster has landed safely after dozens of missions, the largest component of the rocket’s original thrust during liftoff.
The rocket for the manned mission will be brand new, and spaceX will land it on an unmanned ship after launch in an attempt to recover the rocket’s first-stage booster. SpaceX revealed that each Dragon spacecraft can also make multiple space trips.
SpaceX’s biggest ambition is the recycling of the spaceship Starship. Starship is still in its early stages of development, and Musk hopes that every part of the vehicle, as well as the giant rocket booster sending it into space, can be reused and complete the core of flying back to Earth and landing on its own.
The starship is at the heart of Musk’s long-term plan for SpaceX: to send humans to Mars and live there.
If SpaceX succeeds, it could also mean that space travel could open the way.
Other companies are also working, with space technology companies such as Bezos’ Blue Origin planning to offer short suborbital launch schedules that do not enter Earth’s orbit, starting at between $200,000 and $250,000 and rising rapidly.
On the other hand, it has been reported that SpaceX has signed up passengers for a few days of space travel at a cost of $35 million per person. Even Tom Cruise wants to ride spaceX and shoot a movie on the International Space Station.
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