Wednesday 27 May 2020 – 12:58
The US ready to (re) conquer Space with the Crew Dragon
The comment to askanews by the Italian astronaut Maurizio Cheli
Cape Canaveral, 27 May (askanews) – May 27, 2020, 10.33 pm Italian; 9 years after the launch of the last Shuttle mission, the Sts-135 of the Atlantis on 8 July 2011, the United States of America is preparing to recapture the Space by launching again from the American soil a Made in USA shuttle, the Crew SpaceX Dragon by Elon Musk with a human crew, also all American.
Kicking off the era of commercial space flights, the result of collaboration between NASA and private companies, with the Demo-2 mission, NASA veteran astronauts and experimental military pilots Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. The latter had been the pilot of the Atlantis shuttle in his last space flight.
For now, the weather conditions give 60% probability for the launch, which President Trump will also witness live. Iconic the moment, the launch pad, the 39A, the same from which Apollo 11 started on its journey to the Moon, is also iconic.
And from that ramp the Italian astronaut Maurizio Cheli also left for Space with the Shuttle Columbia, for the Sts-75 mission. Askanews asked him why Demo-2 is a “historic” mission.
“It will once again restore independence of access to Space, in this case to the International Space Station to the Americans, but also to the Europeans because a European astronaut will fly in the third mission (the French Thomas Pesquet in 2021, ed) – he explained – then he is the first new spacecraft to transport astronauts in nearly 40 years. The Shuttle flew for the first time in April 1981 and since then there has been no other new spacecraft to bring astronauts into orbit. Third and more important, this project shows that it is not only enough to have the technology but one must have the courage to apply it to innovative ideas and Dragon is an innovative idea because the first stage of the rocket will not be lost but will return to the launch site, therefore it is fully recoverable and reusable and this will have a great effect in the future to significantly reduce the costs of access to space “.
Behnken and Hurley with their futuristic white suits will be brought on the ramp with a Tesla model X designed by NASA. At the end of its mission, however, the Crew Dragon will disengage from the ISS and land off the coast of Florida as it did with the Apollo mission capsules.