A week ago, two NASA astronauts arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A week later, they boarded a SpaceX ship. This was the first manned space flight taking off from American soil in nine years.
Since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, American astronauts have been flying to the International Space Station (ISS) on Russian Soyuz rockets, and they are eager to break this dependency.
Douglas Hurley said: “This is a long road.” He will be one of the astronauts and will be the last shuttle flight.
He and astronaut Robert Behnken will be the first to fly in SpaceX’s “Crew Dragon” capsule, which was tested with a dummy last year.
Crew Dragon will take off from Kennedy with the help of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and dock at the International Space Station, which currently accommodates two Russians and another American.
Bainken said at a press conference in Florida: “Now is the perfect time to become an astronaut and own a new spacecraft.”
In order to protect themselves and the people on the International Space Station from the new coronavirus, the two arrived in Florida on a NASA plane after they began quarantining in Houston on May 13.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine avoided shaking hands with the two. He reiterated that this is the fifth time in American history that a new space flight program has been launched.
This is the first plan implemented in a public-private partnership, where SpaceX produces the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Boeing produces the Starliner.
In order to limit public spending, NASA has provided funds for the development of spacecraft, but has signed contracts with these companies to ensure six flights to and from the International Space Station.
Another difference from the previous plan is that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release on May 27 will take place without a regular audience.
NASA has already endured the pressure of President Donald Trump. Donald Trump has instructed NASA to return to the moon by 2024, which hastened an already risky mission.
Doug Loverro, the head of NASA’s manned space program, resigned abruptly on Tuesday after only six months at work. This move may be related to the procurement of spacecraft for the Artemis lunar mission.
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