Shortly after the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA sent people into orbit from American soil on an operational mission. The launch of this particular mission has been postponed, pushed back and postponed many times – the original schedule included a launch date in November 2016., Sustainability is already docked with the International Space Station.
“Working together during these difficult times, you have inspired the nation, the world and in no small part the name of this amazing vehicle, sustainability,” said Michael Hopkins, commander of the Crew-1 spacecraft, before the launch.
The docking was to take place at 20:00 PT and was essentially just in time. However, the shadows obscured the crew’s view of the space station, and the astronauts decided to make a short stop 20 meters from the docking station adapter. After waiting for “sunset” and the shadows to recede, Resilience made contact with the ISS and officially made a “soft catch” at 20:01 PT and landed around 20:15 PT.
“This is a new era of operational flights to the International Space Station off the coast of Florida,” Hopkins said at the jump.
The Dragon Crew hosted an international meeting of astronauts: Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, plus Soichi Noguchi of Japan’s JAXA space agency. After a handful of safety checks and a welcome ceremony in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the team will engage in scientific experiments and maintenance. They are expected to spend the next six months at the station. The Dragon is capable of autonomous and it is estimated that the Dragon will remain at the station for 210 days, according to NASA requirements.
The launch was celebrated by NASA and SpaceX representatives at a conference after Sunday’s launch. “This is a great day for the United States and a great day for Japan,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein. “The big cornerstone here is that we are now moving away from development and testing and entering operational flights.”
“I look forward to enjoying the new era and moving together for the future,” said Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president at JAXA.
Less than 10 minutes after launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster landed safely on the Just Read The Instructions drone located in the Atlantic Ocean. The reusable rocket was first used in a mission, and the plan is to reuse it on SpaceX’s next Crew Dragon operational flight, Crew-2.
The launch of Crew-2 is scheduled to take place in March 2021 and will again carry four astronauts. It will reuse Crew Dragon Endeavor, which was first used in the SpaceX Demo-2 mission in May.
About 12 minutes later, Resilience separated from the second stage and went on his way.
This is not the first time the Falcon 9 rocket has delivered the Crew Dragon spacecraft into space. In May, NASA astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley were. But it was a test mission, the last cell that had to be marked before operations for NASA’s commercial crew program officially began.
Crew-1 signaled the return of operational flights to US soil and the first flight to the CCP. Until recently, NASA bought flights with the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Flying SpaceX, NASA will save about $ 25 million in space.
NASA has also arranged for Boeing to deliver astronauts to the ISS, butduring his first demonstration launch.
Updated November 17: Added success on download, changed title