Saturday, two astronauts from NASA departed for the International Space Station aboard the ship Crew Dragon company SpaceX.

After the successful launch, the capsule arrived at the International Space Station after 19 hours and 9 minutes. At that moment, it began with the final approach maneuvers to hook his nose with the entrance door to the Station.


The arrival of the ship could be seen live, through the official YouTube channel of NASA.

It is the first manned flight from the United States, with North American astronauts and launched from the country since 2011, when the space shuttle flights ended.

As scheduled, the launch of astronauts Douglas Harley and Robert Behnkense took place from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Four minutes after launch, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket separated from the capsule and began its return to land by landing on the flight deck of a ship, taking advantage of its design as a reusable propeller.

The second stage was activated to bring astronauts into orbit at supersonic speed.

“It is absolutely an honor to be part of this great effort to get the United States back into the launch business,” said Douglas Harley, before takeoff.

After bad weather prevented the Demo-2 mission from taking off from Cape Canaveral last Wednesday, NASA and the aeronautical company SpaceX successfully attempted this Saturday, despite the challenge posed by the weather in Florida. Before launch, the odds of takeoff were estimated to be 50%.


The launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is the first joint mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the aeronautical company SpaceX, by Elon Musk.

A new economic model

“I am overwhelmed with emotion,” Musk said at a press conference later. “It’s been 18 years working towards this goal, so it’s hard to believe that it’s happened.”

The mission may seem like a modest step in space exploration. “Bob” and “Doug” will not go to the Moon or Mars, only to the old station located 400 km from Earth, which Russians, Americans, and astronauts from other countries have come to since 1998. NASA, however, speaks of “revolution,” since SpaceX will once again allow the United States to access space at a less onerous cost than previous programs.

For the $3 billion agreed in 2011 under a fixed-price contract, SpaceX fully developed a new space taxi and promised six round trips to the ISS.

Previously, the space agency ordered a specific vehicle from the industry giants and assumed all the budget overruns. SpaceX managed to defeat Boeing, whose Starliner capsule failed to take off last year.

The launch of this Saturday – a data that feeds the emerging mythology of Musk’s signature – was made from platform 39A, from which the Apollo moon exploration missions took off in the 1960s and 1970s.

“It’s the first time since the retirement of the shuttles nine years ago that an American crew has made the journey from US territory,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We did it again today.”


For Elon Musk, an impetuous businessman obsessed with the red planet, it is before “the first stage in (the) journey towards the establishment of a civilization on Mars” and making humanity “a multi-planet species”.

Musk, who knew nothing about rockets when he created SpaceX, had to gain NASA’s trust. His first three releases failed. One of the rockets exploded on the ground, another shortly after takeoff, and last year the Dragon capsule itself exploded during an examination of the engines. The program should have started in 2017.

This mission of the Crew Dragon capsule, called “Demo-2”, will be key for SpaceX, a company that Musk founded in 2002 with the objective of developing a lower-cost alternative for manned space travel.

Dragon is similar to an Apollo capsule but in a 21st-century version. Touchscreens have replaced buttons and cranks. The interior is predominantly white, and the lighting is more subtle.

A single “umbilical” cord connects the suits to the seats to bring fresh air and communications to the two astronauts, dressed in body-tight space combinations, designed with the help of a Hollywood costume designer.

If the mission, which could run until August, is successful, the Americans will no longer depend on the Russians to access space.

Takeoffs from Florida will become more regular, with four astronauts on board. SpaceX also plans to move private passengers into space and even to the ISS, perhaps next year.


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