SpaceX Gets Closer to Launching People Into Space

07 March, 2019, 01:31 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Content image- Phnom Penh Post

This marks the first time SpaceX has ever docked with ISS under its own power. The autonomous spacecraft orbited above the Pacific Ocean and managed to link with the station by using a robotic arm. The round-trip to the International Space Station is created to provide data on the performance of the company's Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and other systems and operations that NASA will evaluate, as part of the process to certify SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the space station. "Congratulations to all for this historic achievement getting us closer to flying American Astronauts on American rockets".

The launch systems are aimed at ending US reliance on Russian rockets for rides to the $100 billion orbital research laboratory, which flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, at about $80 million per ticket. One sensor looks like planet Earth.

We are preparing to once more Launch American astronauts from American land on American rockets, said NASA chief Jim Bridenstine. "I thought maybe we'd have a 10 percent chance of reaching orbit starting out", Silicon Valley billionaire Musk said of his feelings when he founded the space company in 2002. The name came from Sigourney Weaver's character in the movie "Alien".

Several lasers and software helped dragon capsule to scan docking adapter, and it attached itself.

The three U.S., Canadian and Russian crew members aboard the space station watched the rendezvous via TV cameras.

But Musk has admitted that marketing travel in the Dragon capsule is not a priority - and he is more interested in distant exploration of the solar system.

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Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques pronounced the docking flawless and called it "a handsome thing to see".

"The dawn of a new era in human spaceflight", NASA astronaut Anne McClain tweeted Sunday, along with a breath-taking image.

As it was capsule's first flight, it was not manned, but if the mission goes successful-it will be able to carry astronauts to and fro from Earth to ISS.

Dragon will remain at the space station until Friday, when it will undock for an old-school splashdown in the Atlantic, a few hundred miles off Florida. The Crew Dragon capsule docked with the ISS on Sunday. SpaceX employees at company headquarters in Hawthorne, California, cheered the docking, then burst into applause again when the Dragon's latches were secured.

"It was super exciting to see it", astronaut Bob Behnken, told the BBC.



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