Ten years after the last manned mission launched from the United States, SpaceX will send two astronauts to the International Space Station (iss) on May 27 with its new dragon crew capsule, the NASA chief announced on Friday, April 17.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, there shouldn’t be the big day crowds with spectators lining the beaches and observation sites along Florida’s space coast to watch the spacecraft make its way to the International Space Station (iss).
Yet on May 27, the first flight of the dragon crew capsule with two astronauts on board should be historic in more ways than one. Since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, the United States has been dependent on the Russians to send its astronauts to the space station.
NASA has been forced to pay up to $86 large dollars per seat and about $55.4 large dollars on average to transport American astronauts to these sides of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, according to the space agency’s inspector general.
Musk’s company Elon Musk, which also founded the electric car manufacturer Tesla, could thus accomplish the feat of being the first private company to transport astronauts into space.
Crew dragon got a preview of this mission with a mannequin at its side in March 2019. The capsule had docked at the iss, more than 400 kilometres from the planet, and spent six days there before landing back in the atlantic, slowed down by parachutes, like the apollo capsules.
BREAKING: On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil! With our @SpaceX partners, @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken will launch to the @Space_Station on the #CrewDragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Let’s #LaunchAmerica 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/RINb3mfRWI
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 17, 2020