The mission is historic in that it brings the United States back to manned space flight nine years after the end of the Shuttle program and sees a private company like SpaceX on the front lines.
The US is reviving the space race
The announced presence of Donald Trump today at the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon from Cape Canaveral, Florida, marks the return of the US in the space race, the next game for global, military and commercial supremacy. There Demo-2 mission represents the first transport of astronauts in orbit from American soil for almost a decade and is expected at 10:33 PM Italian time from the Kennedy Space Center, the same location as the last US mission to the Moon.
Like John Kennedy who revealed the US intention to go to the moon on September 12, 1962 at Rice University in Houston, Texas, Trump used the State of the Union speech on February 4 to announce the new challenge to Americans. man to the universe. During his speech in Congress, the commander-in-chief had turned to a 13-year-old boy, Iain Lanphier, arrived from Arizona with the dream of joining the Space Force one day. “Iain, please get up,” the president urged him, who then spoke of the “Artemis” program, Apollo’s ‘sister’, with which NASA aims to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and to Mars in the next decade. . At the beginning, the times were longer, there was talk of 2028, but Trump asked to speed up, shortening the deadline by at least four years.
– NASA (@NASA) May 27, 2020
Return to the moon
The last trip to the moon was that ofApollo 17, in 1972. This time NASA wants to transport the machines first and then the astronauts, sending two non-pressurized “rovers” for space excursions and designed to be piloted remotely. Compared to the Apollo missions, the astronauts would stay on the moon twice as long, about 6 and a half days, during which four “walks” would be carried out to make samples of the soil and, above all, ice.
In the South Pole of the Earth’s satellite, according to NASA, there are areas that have always remained in the shadows, where ice may have been preserved for thousands of years. But they also affect the “light zones”, such as those on the edge of the Shackleton crater, which could store an extraordinary amount of solar energy. The mission represents the launching pad for Trump’s even more ambitious goal, which is firmly rooted in the dream of Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, the first private investor in history to collaborate with NASA: to bring millions of people to live on one day Mars, as in a Ray Bradbury novel.
The synergy with private individuals, as shown by the collaboration with Musk, is considered important to finance a project that foresees an average cost between 6 and 8 billion dollars per “trip”, part of which would be covered by the 20 billion supplied to the Nasa. Trump attempted to draw money from the Pell Grant Reserve Fund last year, which provides subsidies for low-income students, but found opposition from the Democrats.
– NASA (@NASA) May 27, 2020
Space in the Trumpian imagination
The president will return to office: space is the domain on which he wants to reaffirm the American primacy over China and Russia. Not only the leadership among the stars is at stake, but the control of the satellite systems of civil and military communication, and navigation, starting with the latest generation GPS. How much Trump is keen to make space “his” dominion, is confirmed by the obstinacy with which he asked NASA to design a new logo, to mark a change of pace and associate it with his presidency.
The symbol, presented at the White House, has generated irony because it recalls the Star Trek style and perhaps it is no coincidence: cinema is very present in Trumpian cosmology. His campaign has chosen to focus on Star Wars, comparing the president’s future electoral power to the Black Death, the “dark weapon” of the Hollywood saga. Her manager, Brad Parscale, announced the arrival of Star Wars-style special effects. One should be the new challenge between the stars, which will see Trump on the front row tonight at the legendary space base in Florida.
Astronauts in the capsule ready for launch
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are locked in Space X’s Crew Dragon capsule in Cape Canaveral, Florida, ready for the historic launch, confirmed by NASA despite bad weather. The Demo-2 mission, the first transport of astronauts in orbit from American soil for 9 years, is scheduled to start at 22:33 Italian time. President Donald Trump flew to Florida to attend the launch accompanied by first lady Melania.
NASA confirms the launch
The historic launch of the Space X Crew Dragon is confirmed. NASA tweeted it, erasing the uncertainties related to bad weather.
Fraccaro: extraordinary page, Italy participates in it
“With the launch of the Crew Dragon Demo-2, the USA sends two astronauts into orbit for the first time on board a commercial system, developed by SpaceX. It is an extraordinary page for the history of space and Italy participates in it, with the Malindi station which is managed by ASI in Kenya to act as tracking stations for the mission. We will therefore directly follow the flight of the Crew Dragon with an important role that once again demonstrates the degree of excellence of Italy. This launch opens a new era in the race to space with unprecedented scenarios and enormous potential. The new space economy takes a leap forward confirming that synergy between public and private is a winner. The next step will be the Moon and Italy will also play a role in this mission as a protagonist “. This was stated by the Undersecretary of State to the Prime Minister with responsibility for space policies Riccardo Fraccaro.