SpaceX mission: Andrea Avaldi, a Milanese brain for Elon Musk’s American spacecraft

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Andrea Avaldi’s dream has come true. Tonight when the first private space capsule Crew Dragon want in space from Cape Canaveral, in addition to the two astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board there will also be virtually Andrea. In fact, the Milanese engineer is responsible for the many secrets of the new spacecraft built in Los Angeles by the SpaceX company founded by Elon Musk, also the creator of Tesla. His inventiveness had been entrusted with the responsibility for the design of the capsule structures designed to withstand the stresses of the Falcon 9 rocket on which it travels, launching it at a speed of 27 thousand kilometers per hour. Arrived in orbit it will detach itself to reach the space station Iss to which it will engage. Then the two astronauts in their white science fiction suits will undo their belts by sliding into the cosmic house where other American and Russian astronauts await them. The Crew Dragon has already carried out a test without men on board and if this mission, much more critical, will have the same success, from the end of the year the American astronauts will no longer climb on the Russian Soyuz capsules by paying a salty ticket of 80 million dollars.

Andrea Avaldi, 55 years old
Andrea Avaldi, 55 years old

Ever since NASA retired the shuttle in 2011, because it was too dangerous and expensive, he had no alternative and in these nine years he was buying the passage from the Russians, who remained the only ones to provide connections to the station. Andrea, 55, from Principal Structural Engineer, must ensure that Crew Dragon is up to the arduous task and can be used for several flights. The challenge was remarkable but for Andrea it was a wonderful adventure that he chased and which now plays a leading role. In reality, only the last of the challenges he faced, even if the most desired. Since leaving the Milan Polytechnic with an engineering degree under his arm, he has begun to explore new possibilities by creating a company with his engineer friend Fabio Bressan where he designed structures for competition boats that spun almost suspended on the waves. He designed the futuristic hull of Luna Rossa and also those of the boats of the Swedish sailing group Artemis participating in three competitions of the America’s Cup. The Polytechnic recognized its innovative creations by rewarding it with the Award for Innovation. Cos flew very fast but, unfortunately, still only on the water. He took a small step towards the sky when he entered an English company where he invented the tall and giant propellers of wind turbines to be installed in the middle of the sea. This too was a cutting edge frontier. Space continued to cultivate it only with the imagination. Avid science fiction reader, he was passionate about my book dedicated to a fantastic journey of the great Russian scientist Korolev on Mars, says the writer Paolo Aresi of Bergamo, the city in which Andrea had worked to model Luna Rossa.

But the magic moment was coming. Driven by the desire to finally fly high, beyond the atmosphere, he sent his CV to Space X in Los Angeles, expressing his interest in joining the group of designers of the new private space capsule. He was summoned with wonder, underwent several interviews and the last with the same Elon Musk who shortly afterwards, in 2018, invited him to join him to draw Crew Dragon. The dream of inventing spaceships was conquered and his spacecraft will be in orbit tonight.

May 27, 2020 | 08:46

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