On the night of November 15-16, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft with four astronauts on board. This is Crew Dragon’s first operational mission for NASA.
9.5 minutes after the launch, the spent first stage was gently planted on the Just Read The Instructions floating drone platform in the Atlantic Ocean for reuse in future launches. This has never happened in manned missions. 2.5 minutes later, the spacecraft undocked from the second stage, and Crew Dragon set off on an independent journey to the ISS.
The automatic docking of the ship, dubbed Resilience, with the station through the gateway in the Harmony module is scheduled for 06:00 am on November 17, writes LIGA.net.
The rocket and spacecraft were designed and assembled by the private company SpaceX of American businessman Elon Musk. About a month ago, the human delivery capsule was finally certified by NASA.
Crew. The commander is 51-year-old NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins from Missouri, who already flew to the station in 2013-2014 on the Soyuz TMA-10M. Plaque – more than 166 days. Two spacewalks, where he spent almost 13 hours. Test pilot, Colonel of the US Air Force. He is married and has two sons.
44-year-old NASA astronaut Victor Glover from California is a pilot. He has no experience in space flights. Test pilot, lieutenant commander of the US Navy. Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom: 24 sorties. He is married with four daughters.
Shannon Walker, 55, of Texas, a NASA astronaut, is a flight specialist. She flew in 2010 and into orbit on the Soyuz TMA-19. Plaque – more than 163 days. Married.
Also, a flight specialist – an experienced 55-year-old JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi from Yokohama flew to the ISS twice: in 2005 on the Discovery STS-114 shuttle, then in 2009-2010 – on Soyuz TMA-17. Plaque – more than 177 days, three spacewalks for a total of 20 hours.
Now three people live and work in orbit: NASA astronaut Keith Rubins and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov. After joining them a crew with Crew Dragon, there will be seven on the ISS at the same time: such a group has not been there since the US shuttles stopped flying, that is, for almost 10 years.
It is interesting how the people at the station will solve the problem of the lack of sleeping places: now there are six of them. Someone will have to rest in the “Dragon”. It will probably be Hopkins: in the days of the shuttles, the commander of the expedition slept on the ship.
Recall that on May 30, SpaceX and NASA successfully launched the Crew Dragon private spacecraft to the ISS. For the first time in 11 years, American astronauts flew outside the Russian Soyuz.
Following the successful launch of Crew Dragon, SpaceX owner Elon Musk announced his intention to fly to the moon in the next four years.