NASA and its Space X. Elon Musk wrote a new chapter in space history with the successful launch of a rocket with four astronauts and destination the International Space Station (ISS). The four astronauts were successfully launched on Sunday night with the SpaceX Crew Dragon "Resilience". The astronauts are three Americans - the 51-year-old governor Michael Hopkins, the 44-year-old Victor Glover, the 55-year-old Shannon Walker - and a Japanese - 55-year-old Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese space agency "JAXA".
Their journey to the ISS will take 27,5 hours and the astronauts will stay there for six months. Arriving at the ISS, they will find NASA's Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian Roscosmos agency. With this launch, Space X officially began "space taxi" missions on behalf of NASA.
The American company Crew-1 Dragon "Resilience" was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, which, after nine minutes, returned to Earth and landed on a ship. platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the second launch of astronauts from US soil since the interruption of the space shuttle program in 2011. All these years, NASA has relied on Russian Soyuz rockets to send its crews to the ISS.
Six years of testing, two test flights and a multi-billion dollar investment are now paying off as NASA sends four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), the first government-certified flight of a private spacecraft, the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
This is the first fully functional mission for a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. NASA wants to make numerous trips to the ISS each year, carrying new groups of astronauts - and perhaps, one day, private citizens.
The newly elected President of USA, Joe Biden, welcomed the launch at Twitter characterizing it as "Proof of the power of science and what we can achieve by utilizing our innovation, ingenuity and determination". At the same time, the outgoing US President, <br><br>Donald Trump, characterized the launch "superiority". They both congratulated NASA and Space X on their achievement. In addition, Vice President Mike Pence, who watched the launch with his wife, Karen, described her as "A New Era in the Exploration of Human Space in America".
SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, has surpassed its much older rival, Boeing, whose program has dropped after a failed test of the unknown Starliner last year. However, the success of SpaceX does not mean that the United States will stop working with it altogether Russia. The reality, however, is that space ties between the United States and Russia - one of the few bright spots in their bilateral relations - have faded in recent years and much remains uncertain. Russia has said it will not be a partner in program "Artemis" to return to the Moon in 2024, claiming that the mission led by NASA is too focused on the US.
Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia's space bureau, has also repeatedly mocked SpaceX technology and announced this summer that Roscosmos will build missiles surpassing those of Musk. The appearance of SpaceX has deprived Roscosmos of a valuable source of revenue. The cost of return missiles with Russian missiles had risen to about $ 85 million per astronaut, according to estimates, last year.
Presidential transitions are always a difficult time for NASA, and the rise of Joe Biden in January is expected to be no different. Democratic Party documents say they support NASA's ambitions for the Moon and Mars, while boosting the development of Earth's science department to better understand how climate change is affecting our planet.