After a two-month mission to the International Space Station, two American astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, completed their historic mission by landing in the waters off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, at 2:48 p.m. EST on August 2, 2:48 p.m. EST aboard SpaceX’s Endeavour dragon.
“Odyssey” is an adventure.
Hurricane Isaias on the East Coast did not affect the dragon ship’s water landing. Not only SpaceX executives such as Musk watched the return, but also many people on private boats around the Dragon spacecraft’s landing.
“Bob and Doug smiled and gave a thumbs-up as they were carried out of the capsule, looking in great shape.” Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, which supports the manned mission, said.
It was a landmark mission that marked NASA’s first restart of a manned space mission since the u.S. space program was decommissioned in 2011.
“It’s an Odyssey-like adventure, and the Dragon’s first flight was incredible,” Hurley told NASA officials and SpaceX officials at a return ceremony at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “
It was NASA’s first landing in water in 45 years and the final test of whether SpaceX, founded by Musk, could carry out a final test of whether to put astronauts into orbit and bring them back to Earth. SpaceX became the first private company in the world to be able to carry out commercial space missions.
Musk watched the astronauts take nearly three hours from their return to Earth to the removal of the recovered craft from the capsule. “I don’t have much religion, but this time I pray for it, ” he said excitedly. “
The return of the Dragon spacecraft is considered to be more difficult than sending it into space. The capsule needs to penetrate the atmosphere at 17,500 miles per hour in orbit and slow down to 350 miles per hour, with four giant parachutes playing an important role in slowing down.
“Today we made history,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s director. The mission marks the beginning of a new era for human spaceflight, and NASA is no longer the only hardware buyer, owner and operator, but one of many future customers of space travel. “
The last U.S. manned space program ended in 2011, after which NASA had to travel to Russia to carry the Soyuz spacecraft every time it sent astronauts to the International Space Station. That’s costly for NASA, because the Soyuz ticket costs up to $86 million each, and it costs nearly $200 million to send two astronauts to the skies.
To stimulate the commercial space market, IN 2014 NASA partnered with SpaceX to pay $2.6 billion to build the Dragon spacecraft, initially tasked with delivering cargo to the International Space Station. NASA has never outsourced the mission to a private company in the past few decades. NASA believes that commercial companies can reduce costs and stimulate innovation, which will allow NASA to spend more time exploring the solar system.
The re-use of the spacecraft will be verified.
SpaceX’s main goal is to reduce launch costs through rocket reuse. Dragon Capsules, a capsule that carries cargo, has been used three times. Since 2015, SpaceX has successfully and safely landed a first-stage booster for the Falcon 9 heavy rocket dozens of times.
“I was very impressed by SpaceX’s historic mission, and the successful landing of the sea means the whole mission is a complete success,” Zhang Wei, a SpaceX investor and founding partner of the Fusion Fund in Silicon Valley, told First Financial After the return of the two American astronauts. Much of SpaceX’s components have been recycled during the rocket launch and the spacecraft’s return, which is of paramount importance. “
Not only did SpaceX complete a successful launch, but it also completed an exploration that collected parameters from the spacecraft and the International Space Station for technical verification of the subsequent flight plan and more space missions, Zhang said. “As long as repetitive use is proven, it can reduce costs and make space exploration missions more efficient and sustainable.” She told First Financial.
In the future, SpaceX will send more astronauts into space. Future flights are also expected to use the recycled Dragon spacecraft, which is expected to take place next year. NASA will also allow SpaceX to be more deeply involved in missions such as deep space exploration and rescue of personnel.
“The launch of the manned spacecraft, which was completed by private enterprises for the first time, demonstrates the great potential of private enterprises and the state to promote the development of aerospace projects and reduce costs.” Zhang told First Financial that SpaceX’s other missions will also accelerate and will also be a global collaboration.
She believes there is room for future spaceX costs to fall. According to a 2019 NASA investigation, the Dragon spacecraft’s “tickets” are about $55 million each, which is still high, although lower than the cost of the Russian Soyuz. And that cost will fall in the future as more space missions are carried out.
Mr. Zhang also said SpaceX has made a profit, largely thanks to its Starlink program. At the end of last month, SpaceX was exposed as planning another $1 billion in financing, which would give the company a market capitalisation of $44 billion.
In response, Zhang told First Financial: “SpaceX’s new financing plan will be used to promote the ‘Starlink project’.” The future opportunity lies in the fact that, in addition to rocket launches and spaceships, there will be more areas open to private enterprises, whether it is basic satellite launches or some innovations related to rocket launch enhancement, including new network technologies, have very large application opportunities. “
SpaceX’s success is also important for start-ups in China’s aerospace sector.
“One of the lessons for our businesses and investors is that capital needs to be patient and built up on cutting-edge technology, to take on phased challenges and to be prepared to fail.” “SpaceX is an example of how private companies can leverage risk tolerance, innovate and diversify, and leverage capital efficiently as they work with large organizations,” Zhang said. “