UPDATE AT 22.30: the weather on the skies of California does not allow the safe launch of Space X. Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken were already on board, but everything is postponed to Saturday 30 May.
Space X, live TV and streaming: it’s the day of the Crew Dragon. The launch from Cape Canaveral is scheduled at 22.33 Italian (16-33 local). It will be streamed live for free on YouTube through official channels of the Nasa (here to log in) and of Space X (here to connect). In Italy, free to air on Focus TV (digital terrestrial channel reachable at position 35 on the remote control. Focus will connect at 9.15 pm to broadcast a series of insights on the space launch. Also directed on SkyTg24 for the countdown from Cape Canaveral.
Not a trivial mission, because it marks the return in style of Americans to space nine years after the last time. Then it was Space Shuttle which ended its glorious history. This time, to admire the jewel built by Elon Musk’s patience, they are also expected Donald Trump and his deputy, Mike PenceThey will reiterate that space is not a monopoly of the Russians and possibly of the European consortia. It will happen at 22.33 in Italy, obviously weather permitting because the unknown remains high to the last. In case of postponement, everything postponed until Saturday or Sunday at the latest, but meanwhile the wait grows.
The Crew Dragon shuttle will take off with the American Falcon 9 rocket from the base that accompanied the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. Nineteen hours after paertenza, the two veterans Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken will arrive on board the International Space Station (ISS). There they will find three colleagues from Expedition 63 and will stay for one to four months. The duration of the mission will be established based on the conditions of the shuttle but also on the preparations for the next mission, the real one.
The wait is absolute and it is no coincidence that NASA launched thehashtag #LaunchAmerica. In fact, this will be the first manned flight of a shuttle designed and built by a private company with a partnership between public and private. It will open the commercial flight program promoted by NASA but above all marks an era. What 2024 should bring first woman on the moon, in the development of NASA’s Artemis program.
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NASA and Space X they have been working for a decade to achieve this. And it doesn’t matter that the United States is in full Coronavirus emergency even if the effects will be felt. As NASA chief executive officer Jim Bridenstine explained, aspiring viewers will have to stay home and watch everything online to protect employees from Covid-19.
Precisely for this Behnken and Hurley are in quarantine from 13 May, to ensure that the crew does not carry the Coronavirus in the space. This entailed maintaining social removal practices during training. And anyone who interacts with the crew will be subjected to a temperature control wearing protective clothing.
Hurley was the pilot of the final journey of the Shuttle, so for him it will be to re-establish ties with time. Interviewed by Wired magazine, he explained the mission news as follows: “In modern airliners pilots are system managers and do very little hand flight, and it’s practically the same with Dragon. The commander and pilot monitor the vehicle’s trajectory and systems and must not focus fully on real flight. “
In 2011 Hurley and his crew brought one American flag to the space station. They left her there with instructions that no one should have brought her back to Earth until the next US mission. And so it will be when they return to Earth, we still don’t know when.