On what is termed as a historic day in human space exploration history, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA have successfully sent two astronauts – 49-year-old Robert Behnken and 53-year-old Douglas Hurley – to space.
The launch that took place at Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral happens to be the first manned space flight that is being conducted on American soil in the last nine years. Incidentally, it was launched from the same Launchpad from which Apollo astronauts were launched to the moon.
The first attempt that was scheduled for Wednesday was aborted due to poor weather conditions. In the second attempt, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carried the two astronauts to International Space Station. Millions of viewers tuned into the official YouTube channels of NASA and SpaceX to witness the historic Crew Dragon 2 launch.
A historic feat in Human Space Exploration
The launch will go down history as a very important milestone in human space exploration because of the usage of the Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 rocket is a partly reusable vehicle that was previously used for another mission. This makes space travel a lot more affordable. Earlier the astronauts were taken to space through Astrovan but for the first time, the astronauts were taken in Tesla cars. The electric cars had a NASA insignia of its rear windshield. With this mission, NASA and SpaceX look to make human space flying more affordable and also drastically reducing the cost of launching payloads into space.
However, Elon Musk was expected to Tweet after the launch but hasn’t yet. The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump was also expected to be present at the site to witness the launch but he wasn’t seen. There wasn’t any statement or a tweet by him.
The Crew Dragon 2 will go around the earth orbit for a few times to align its orbit with the International Space Station. The spacecraft will take 19 hours to finally dock with the ISS and complete its mission. The Crew Dragon is termed to be fully autonomous i.e. it can guide itself. An announcement about the mission is expected by the end of the day.
Source: India Times