It was supposed to be the big comeback after nine years, President Donald Trump with his wife Melania and Deputy Mike Pence had also bothered. Instead, 20 minutes before the start (scheduled at 10.33 pm Italian time) the countdown has been blocked due to bad weather. The United States must therefore wait at least until Saturday (at 21.22 Italian time) to return to space with two astronauts launched with a rocket with stars and stripes from American territory. The presence of Trump – who was to witness the departure of the Falcon 9 rocket from inside the Kennedy Space Center – did not bring luck to the Dragon spacecraft of the private company Space X of Elon Musk which remained on the launch pad 39 A of Cape Canaveral (the one historic of the Apollo and Shuttle launches) with Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on board, two NASA veterans with several Shuttle missions behind them.
Like a movie
I want to inspire the guys who will want to wear those suits one day, Musk said, protected by a mask, before leaving. The Space X spacesuits, made by a Hollywood costume designer, had caught everyone’s attention: very different from those of the Apollo astronauts, lighter and with a design reminiscent of video games. Even the interior of the super-technological Dragon: before the rockets were fired, Behnken and Hurley were given the commands in front of three soft-touch screens that gave the spacecraft a sci-fi film look. Instead of the anonymous van that once accompanied the astronauts, Behnken and Hurley had arrived at the base of the rocket aboard a shiny SUV Tesla, another Musk company.
There was also Trump
About an hour and a half before departure, Air Force One also landed with President Trump on board for the return to orbit of the United States from 8 July 2011. NASA did a fantastic, incredible job, Trump had commented , but served little. Behnken and Hurley, 49 and 53 respectively, entered the NASA course for astronauts in the year 2000. The first has two missions for a total of 708 hours and six spacewalks. Hurley also carried out two previous missions for a total of 28 days and was part of the last mission of the Atlantis shuttle.
May 27, 2020 (change May 27, 2020 | 11:32 pm)
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