SpaceX boss Elon Musk felt in the end "emotionally a little exhausted". This was no wonder. After all, the company has reached an important milestone and for the first time docked the space capsule "Crew Dragon" on the International Space Station ISS. It is therefore clear: after numerous delays, the company is now able to actually transport people into space. This time, however, only the doll Ripley was on board. It was equipped with numerous sensors before the start of the flight in order to be able to accurately measure the load on a human astronaut. In the spring, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are set to launch the first real astronauts into space for a final test flight with the "Crew Dragon". Subsequently, the first manned transport flights could be carried out.
Part of the rocket can be used again
The transport capsule was brought into space by a Falcon 9 rocket, also developed by SpaceX. About eleven minutes later, the transport capsule detached itself from the rocket and reached its destination in less than 27 hours. On the 8th of March the return to Earth should take place. There is also already the first rocket stage again. The so-called booster landed on a platform in the sea and will be used again in the future. This maneuver is a hallmark of SpaceX and helps reduce the cost of space flights. This is also in the interest of NASA. The US Space Agency does not have enough transport capacity to reach the ISS. However, it finances much of SpaceX's flights to the space station.
The US did not have their own transportation
In the long term, NASA should save even money by using the "Crew Dragon". So far, for the transport Russian Soyuz capsules must be used – which is not very cheap. Interestingly enough, space cooperation has not been affected by the growing political tensions between Russia and the United States. Representatives of the Russian space organization Roskosmos even congratulated publicly on the successful maiden flight of the "Crew Dragon". At the same time, they emphasized that they would like to continue working with NASA. In the medium term, however, the question arises as to what should happen to the ISS as a whole. Currently, the operation is only secured until the year 2024. Then there is, among other things, a privatization in the room .
Via: The Verge