On Sunday, four astronauts successfully launched to the International Space Station on SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience. This is the first thing the United States hopes for. After the successful test flight in late spring, many routine missions will be carried out.

Three Americans, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Tomoichi Noguchi from Florida at 7:27 PM PST (5:57 Monday U.S. Standard Time) The Kennedy Space Center exploded, thus ending the international community’s dependence on Russia for nearly a decade on its Soyuz rocket.

The crew of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket gestures to leave the launch pad

US President-elect Biden praised the launch on Twitter “proving the power of science that we can accomplish by leveraging our innovation, creativity and determination”, and President Donald Trump called it “great.”

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen attended the launch ceremony, calling it “a new era of American human space exploration.”

The Penny team watched the launch with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and his wife Michelle and applauded as the rocket lifted off.

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The space capsule was successfully separated from the second stage of the rocket. According to a radio speech by SpaceX team members, the capsule has achieved “nominal orbit insertion.”

This means that the space capsule is currently on the right track to reach the International Space Station.

The crew will stop at the destination at 11:00 pm on Monday evening (Tuesday IST, 9:30 am on Tuesday), board the station with two Russians and an American, and stay for six months.

In May of this year, SpaceX completed a demonstration mission to show that it can take astronauts to the ISS and bring them back safely. This is a milestone development that allows the United States to begin its journey to the space station again on its own.

Since the launch of the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago, the Crew Dragon became the first spacecraft certified by NASA this week.

It is a space capsule, similar in shape to the previous space shuttle, and its launch vehicle is the reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

As in the Apollo era, the Crew Dragon will deploy a parachute at the end of the mission and then splash in the water.

After NASA closed the checkered space shuttle program in 2011, it turned to SpaceX and Boeing. The main goal of the program failed to make space travel affordable and safe.

By 2024, the agency will spend more than 8 billion U.S. dollars (approximately Rs 59,600 crore) on the commercial crew program, hoping that the private sector can meet NASA’s “low earth orbit” needs in order to free up energy to focus on returning to the moon , And then head to Mars.

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SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, surpassed its older competitor, Boeing, and the company’s plans were in trouble after a failed test of its unlaunched Starliner last year.

The Russians are unmoved

Bridenstine said, but SpaceX’s success does not mean that the United States will completely stop free-riding with Russia.

He said: “We hope to exchange seats so that American astronauts can fly on a Russian Soyuz rocket, and Russian astronauts can fly on a commercial crew flying vehicle.”

However, the reality is that in recent years, the spatial relationship between the United States and Russia has been one of the few bright spots in the relationship between the two countries, but this relationship is still in a state of uncertainty.

Russia has stated that it will not return to the moon in 2024 with its partners in the Artemis program, and claimed that the mission led by NASA is too US-centric.

Russian Space Agency Director Dmitry Rogozin (Dmitry Rogozin) has repeatedly mocked SpaceX’s technology and announced this summer that Roscosmos will build a rocket that surpasses Musk.

He told the National News Agency that he was impressed by the water landing of the crew dragon, calling it “quite difficult” and that his agency was developing a methane rocket that could be reused 100 times.

However, in fact, the National Space Administration feels that it has the ability to compare itself with the company, which can be said to be a verification of NASA’s public-private strategy.

The emergence of SpaceX also made Roscosmos lose a valuable source of income.

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According to last year’s estimates, the cost of the Russian rocket’s round trip has been rising, about 85 million U.S. dollars (about 6 billion rupees) per astronaut.

Presidential transition

The presidential transition has been a difficult time for NASA, and Joe Biden’s promotion in January is not expected to be any different.

The agency has not yet received the tens of billions of dollars needed to complete the Artemis plan from Congress.

Bridenstine has announced his resignation to allow the new president to set his own goals for space exploration.

So far, Biden has not commented on the 2024 timeline.

The Democratic Party’s document says that they support NASA’s Moon and Mars aspirations, but also emphasize the need to upgrade the agency’s Earth Science Department to better understand how climate change affects our planet.


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