Dragon capsule successfully separates from rocket: SpaceX

04 March, 2019, 04:57 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • LIFT OFF California's SpaceX firm has carried out a demonstration of a new rocket

Crew Draton docked with the space station at 5:51 a.m. EST (1051 GMT), approximately 27 hours after it lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

In 2014, the United States space agency awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing for them to take over this task.

This week, NASA and SpaceX revealed that Crew Dragon had met all the requirements and been cleared for its test flight to the International Space Station this weekend. The spacecraft encountered no serious issues as it approached the station, executing a series of maneuvers including one where, at a distance of 150 meters from the station, it halted its approach and retreated to 180 meters to test the ability to back away from the station in the event of a problem.

SpaceX's new crew capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, acing its second milestone in just over a day.

Today, SpaceX launched a new Crew Dragon capsule to demonstrate their readiness for manned spaceflight. "Congratulations to all for this historic achievement getting us closer to flying American Astronauts on American rockets". The next one coming up will have its own two-man crew.

Both companies have received billions of dollars from NASA to develop spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts safely to and from the station. The launch went off without a hitch, much to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's relief.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasted its brand-new Dragon spacecraft into orbit for the first time early Saturday morning, and so far everything has gone well.

"Just super excited to see it", Behnken said minutes after the linkup. "We've got NASA "rocking" again," the president wrote. While Falcon 9's have completed many successful lift-offs, today's was special because it is the first outing for SpaceX's new Crew Dragon module, created to take astronauts into orbit. Cargo Dragon must be maneuvered with the station's robot arm. In a docking with a crew aboard, the capsule would likewise operate autonomously, though the astronauts might push a button or two and would be able to intervene if necessary.

The docking port itself is new and has never been used. The capsule will deliver its payload of supplies and remain in place until March 8.

Every successful stage of the mission-whose planning suffered three-year delays-triggered cheers at the firm's headquarters and at Kennedy Space Center. The capsule is equipped with a life support system and an emergency abort system.

The launch comes nine years after NASA invested about £38million ($50million) into its Commercial Crew Program.

Boeing's Starliner is slated to fly its first demo mission without a crew no earlier than April. If that final phase of the test goes well, NASA astronauts could be heading into space aboard non-NASA rockets as soon as summer 2019.

After its shuttle program was shuttered in July 2011 after a 30-year run, NASA's manned flights came to an end.

"We're doing things that are really risky and the designs and the complexity of what we have to do. we're strapping human beings on top of rockets with millions of pounds of thrust and hurling them into orbit. that isn't trivial".



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