Elon Musk’s private owned SpaceX launched 4 NASA astronauts into orbit on Saturday. Newly designed Crew Dragon capsule named “Resilience” was lifted by Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. Moreover, it is the first full-fledged mission where the crew has been sent into space aboard a privately owned spacecraft.
The Resilience Crew of SpaceX
The crew includes Hopkins and two fellow NASA astronauts. Further, Victor Glover has been appointed mission pilot and Shannon Walker is physicist. These members are joined by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi who is marking his third trip to space this time. The astronauts were wearing their custom white flight suits. They arrived at the Space centre launch pad at 4.30 p.m, the scheduled time.
After an hour of liftoff, astronaut Hopkins said, “That was one heck of a ride and there was a lot of smiles.”
SpaceX launches 4 NASA astronauts with a glitch
The ride to the space station was originally scheduled to begin on Saturday but due to weather forecasts, it was postponed. The forecast showed gusty winds, remnants of Tropical Storm Eta, that would have made return landing difficult for Falcon at reusable booster stage. Later, just two hours before launch, an air leak caused an unexpected drop in capsule pressure. However technicians thoroughly checked and launch took place as it was scheduled. NASA officials declared these information out.
First Private Mission where SpaceX launched 4 NASA astronauts
SpaceX launched 4 NASA astronauts and it was first of NASA’s six operational missions. It represents a whole new era of commercially developed privately-owned spacecraft other than NASA for sending Americans into space. Before this, NASA had contracted SpaceX and Boeing in 2014. The contract aimed at replacing its shuttle program and separating US from dependence on Russian rockets.
The SpaceX chief executive, Elon Musk was unable to watch the liftoff as he “most likely” had a moderate case of COVID-19, NASA officers said. Joe Biden congratulated them in a tweet saying, “a testament to the power of science.”
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