The latest update reveals that SpaceX launches astronauts in a recycled rocket into orbit. It is the third crewed flight within less than a year, and the credit for the same goes to the visionary Elon Musk. His company is creating history one after the other, and it is expanding rapidly as a reward of these activities.
The capsule was carrying astronauts from the US, France. It was to reach the International Space Station on the fifth morning since its launch. The astronauts were to cover a 23-hour journey in the famous Dragon capsule before reaching the ISS. It is the same capsule that SpaceX was using in May 2020.
The astronauts are to stay at the ISS orbiting lab and work in their lab for six months. The highlight of this rocket launch was the recycled capsule. It is the first time that SpaceX launches astronauts using the same rocket and capsule. While the capsule was last used in May 2020, it was November 2020 for the rocket.
It has now become like a trend, and to embrace the same, Shane Kimbrough, spacecraft commander, wrote his initials on the rocket soot. Besides, his whole team did the same to begin a tradition.
After the rocket launch, Elon Musk states that cracking complete and rapid reusability is the ultimate goal. Therefore, SpaceX is trying to achieve the same, and the support from NASA is a great deal, of course.
SpaceX launches astronauts after cracking a massive deal with NASA
Not more than a week before the launch of the rocket capsule, SpaceX bagged a massive deal from NASA. Both the agencies signed a deal of approximately $3 billion against which SpaceX delivers a lunar lander.
It is a way in which astronauts will be able to reach the moon’s surface. On the other hand, the much-awaited Starship by Musk may be completely reusable to fulfill his ultimate dream. It will help astronauts reach the surface of Mars, where they will start building a new city.
For Megan McArthur, NASA astronaut, flying in the recycled capsule was a type of déjà vu. She was present on the very seat on which Bob Behnken, her husband, was when SpaceX launched its debut crew flight. However, this time their 7-year old son and Bob were waving goodbye kisses to the woman who was ready to reach the skies. McArthur was also sending virtual hugs to her son and husband.
Among the others who were present in the capsule was Thomas Pesquet of France. He became the first European to be part of a commercial capsule launch. Apart from that, Akihiko Hoshide, a Japanese astronaut, was a part of the team too.
The launch was a spectacular scene when the launch plume was glowing in the dark sky. Moreover, the light became brighter when the plume was reflecting the sunlight after reaching a high altitude.
The launch of the Falcon was a historic event
Despite the odd timing, people were crowding to watch the Falcon take off. It was just an hour or so before sunrise after the launch was delayed for an entire day. The delay was because the team was waiting for the weather to get better around the East Coast, anticipating an emergency splashdown or a launch abort.
A few hours after SpaceX launches astronauts into space, there comes news of some space junk that may hit the capsule. The flight controllers immediately commanded the astronauts to put on their spacesuits and bring down their visors, anticipating danger. However, there was thankfully no accident, and the space junk was farther off than anticipated.
According to Rob Navias, NASA spokesperson, there is no detail about the size of the piece of space junk. However, it was nowhere close to the capsule. Elon Musk went on to meet the astronauts before the launch took place at the Kennedy Space Center.
From there, the four of them boarded white Teslas with gull-wings after bidding goodbyes to their children and spouses. The caravan then went back to the pad to witness history happen. Pesquet’s partner states that she will be able to see him through a screen only from now on.
During the launch, there was restriction on the number of spectators considering covid-19 norms. However, everyone on board the first SpaceX private flight was on the guest list to witness the historic moment. Apart from that, everyone was mandatorily wearing masks and was maintaining social distancing.