Tonight at 22:22 Bulgarian time, NASA’s historic flight to the ISS took place. For the first time in almost a decade, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX sent two astronauts to the International Space Station with an American rocket.
Astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley were due to leave on Thursday, May 27, but the launch was delayed due to bad weather. Today the conditions were risky, but the start was scheduled. The Falcon 9 rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Minutes later, the Dragon capsule successfully detached from the rocket and went into orbit. The astronauts will fly 19 hours before docking with the International Space Station.
For the first time in history, a private company is sending people into space. The goal is to resume the removal of “American astronauts with American rockets and from American territory.”
Astrophysicists Viktor Danchev, director of missions at EnduroSat, and Tihomir Dimitrov, founder of the Space Academy for Children, commented on the historical events in the studio of “Around the World and in Bulgaria”.
Victor Danchev – Director of Missions at EnduroSat: After the launch of the rocket follows a very fast acceleration. What most people don’t realize is that the rockets have an awful little payload compared to their total mass, so this rocket ejects a lot of fuel very quickly. One by one, its engines will begin to separate and less and less mass will remain, which is more and more easily propelled, so that in the end the ship, which is only 4-5% of the total mass of the rocket, can reach the required speed. to stay in orbit and not fall back to Earth.
Astrophysicists have noted that it is extremely important that the flight is made by a private company.
The founder of the Space Academy for Children Tihomir Dimitrov said that after gaining an altitude of about 60, 70 km, which happens in 2, 5 minutes, most of the rocket, which is located in the lower part, where the 9 the engine will be separated from the spacecraft, which continues into space. This is the payload, together with the astronauts, and the rocket will land in the Atlantic Ocean on a specially designed ship, which measures 50×30 meters.
According to Dimitrov, this is a very small target for a rocket that returns back through the Earth’s atmosphere from space and this is done through auxiliary rocket engines, GPS, which guides the return through the atmosphere and the so-called. legs that dissolve in the last few seconds before landing on the ship.
Tihomir Dimitrov – Founder of the Space Academy for Children: This is something that Elon Musk’s private company has been doing routinely for the last 5 years. The first such controlled landing of such a rocket was exactly on Christmas 5 years ago. So it’s no less exciting than the flight itself taking off.