Astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley entered the International Space Station and began work on a mission that could last until September, although there is no exact date for their return. This successfully completed the next phase of the first private manned spacecraft in history, which took space exploration and exploration to a new level.
The US Aerospace Agency no longer owns or operates the rockets and ships with which its astronauts fly low-orbit to the ISS. This is a task only for companies like SpaceX – Hawthorne, California-based company of billionaire Elon Musk.
He said he would not be calm until the return to Earth went smoothly. But the company and NASA could move quickly to the next stage of their $ 2.6 billion contract, which envisions the Crew Dragon spacecraft operating as a “space taxi” and bringing 6 astronauts to the ISS. The first such flight will probably take place in August.
This striking example of the effectiveness of public-private partnerships also outlines the return of the moon in the current decade, with the launch vehicle, ship, spacecraft and other equipment also being prepared by private companies under contract with NASA.
At the ISS, they were greeted by a Russian-American three-member crew, who will be assisted in various experiments and equipment repairs, including spacewalks. So far, several such operations have been postponed because there are not enough people in orbit.
On their way to the ISS, Hurley and Blanken named their ship Endeavor in honor of the space shuttle they both flew. They have this right and according to them the name of this exceptional ship for its time should be continued.
On the ISS, the two will be able to retrieve the American flag left there during the last shuttle mission in 2011. The Atlantis crew left it to motivate the astronauts coming after them to return. The same flag was aboard the first shuttle in 1981 and will now be returned to Earth to be handed over to a mission that will take people beyond Earth’s orbit.
The two new ISS crew members were greeted at the flight control center by the NASA director and by politicians who played a key role in passing the law, which allowed this cooperation with private companies.
Jim Braidenstein said today’s event was inspiring to millions of Americans and people around the world that when people come together, they can achieve extraordinary things. This is especially important for America after the dark months of a pandemic and the last days of street riots and looting of shops flooding the country after the murder of a black man by a police officer.
Bob Benken and Doug Hurley thanked SpaceX for the wonderful ship they created and said that in real life everything was exactly as in the simulator on which they trained. They called on young people in their country and around the world to fight for their dreams.
In the conversation several times it was said that the United States focuses on missions to the moon, long stay and work on the lunar surface, and then – a flight to Mars. Braidenstein pointed out that the first women will be sent to the moon and it is no coincidence that the new lunar program is called “Aremida”. This is the name of the sister of the ancient Greek god Apollo and the choice is related to the fact that Apollo was called the program from the 60s for stepping on the moon