Crew Dragon makes history The US returns to space


Crew Dragon, built by the billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, from the same ramp where the man was sent to the Moon, in what is a historical mission from different points of view: it marks the return of the United States in orbit after almost 10 years and opens a new era for commercial travel in Space. “We made history,” said NASA on her Twitter profile, while the US president, Donald Trump, present at the launch with his deputy Mike Pence, defined what happened “incredible” and promised that “it is only the beginning” . The two NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley (53 years old) and Bob Behnken (49 years old), are now headed to the International Space Station (ISS), 450 kilometers from Earth, with the mission called Demo-2: the hook is expected after about 20 hours. On board the ISS, the two NASA veterans – who will remain there for a maximum period of four months – will find the American Chris Cassidy and the Russians Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Hurley and Behnken had never been launched together before.

SpaceX. The departure is uncertain until the last minute, due to bad weather conditions, which on Wednesday had already imposed the abort of the first launch attempt. In the end, thanks to a slight improvement during the available window, it was decided for the ‘go’ and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket came off the Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A, which also has a highly symbolic: from here the Apollo missions headed for the Moon and those of the Space Shuttle with which the ISS was built. The mission to be a highly celebratory moment of US successes and the Trump administration, but instead started in the midst of the coronavirus crisis (which killed over 100 thousand people in the United States) and the wave of violent protests for the killing of the African American George Floyd, in Minneapolis. “Maybe this is an opportunity for America to take a break, look up and see a bright moment of hope on what the future could be like, on the fact that the United States of America can do extraordinary things even in difficult moments ”Said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine before launch. President Trump has also arrived in Air Force One in Florida. “Incredible”, was his first comment, “True genius, nobody does it like us, this is only the beginning”, he added, warning that the American successes in Space will be “one of the most important things we have ever done “.

The Russians. The Russian space agency Roscosmos, so far the only one capable of bringing astronauts to the International Space Station, congratulated the American space company SpaceX on the success of the launch of a manned rocket. The launch from the Kennedy space center in Florida was the first of American astronauts from American soil for nine years and the first ever of a private company. “I would like to congratulate our American colleagues,” said cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, executive director of Roscosmos for manned space programs, in a short video message on the agency’s Twitter page. “The success of the mission will provide us with further opportunities to benefit the entire international program.”

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