Washington – At the end of May, the US space agency Nasa wants to send astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station for the first time in almost a decade.
Nasa astronauts Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley are said to board a “CrewDragon” on May 27. NASA boss Jim Bridenstine said on Friday (local time) via short message service Twitter that the private space company SpaceX will launch a “Falcon 9” rocket from the Cape Canaveral spaceport. and promoted by SpaceX for the first time. So far, the company has only transported cargo to the ISS.
NASA had retired its shuttle fleet for cost reasons. The “Atlantis” was flown for the last time in July 2011. Since then, NASA has relied on taking its astronauts in Russian Soyuz capsules to get to the ISS – which has long caused resentment in the United States for financial and geopolitical reasons. The upcoming mission is SpaceX’s “last flight test”, it said from NASA.
The length of time astronauts Behnken and Hurley will remain onboard the ISS remains to be determined, but due to the corona pandemic, there will be restrictions on the number of spectators at the Florida spaceport at launch. NASA restricted its work during the crisis, but the ISS continues to operate.
It was only on Friday that three space travelers – the US astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan and the Russian Oleg Skripotschka – landed safely in the Soyuz capsule again after months on the space station around 400 kilometers above earth in a Soyuz capsule. On the ISS, three astronauts now hold the position, the US astronaut Christopher Cassidy and the Russians Anatoli Iwanischin and Iwan Wagner.
Nasa had already announced in 2014 that it wanted to go back into manned space flight – at that time 2017 was when Objective has been specified. In addition to SpaceX, Boeing was also commissioned to develop transporters for astronauts. However, the “Starliner” developed by Boeing failed to make it to the ISS on the first attempt in December. The unmanned test is now to be repeated first.