With Dragon SpaceX inaugurates the era of commercial space flights

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SpaceX did it: it is the first private company to have brought NASA astronauts into orbit towards the International Space Station that travels around the Earth between 400 and 500 kilometers high. He did it with the Dragon Transport Capsule

by Leopoldo Benacchio

Launch Crew Dragon, Saccoccia (Asi): Space is now closer

SpaceX did it: it is the first private company to have brought NASA astronauts into orbit towards the International Space Station that travels around the Earth between 400 and 500 kilometers high. He did it with the Dragon Transport Capsule

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SpaceX has made it: it is the first private company to have brought NASA astronauts into orbit, in this case towards the International Space Station, Iss, which travels around the Earth between 400 and 500 kilometers in height. He did it with his own Dragon transport capsule brought to the final orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket, all proprietary material, as well as the procedures and personnel for take-off and return.

For the moment, all is well, indeed, very well, although the weather forecast was not better than 3 days ago when the first attempt was stopped a few minutes after launch due to bad weather conditions, a few drops fell in the area even on the second attempt, but there was the “go” at – 7 minutes from zero hour, 9:22 pm here in Italy, and then everything went well until the 9 Merlin engines started and then the second stage that led, in just over 12 minutes, the Dragon capsule, with Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on board, on the final route to the ISS, which they will reach after 19 hours from the launch itself.

They are two expert astronauts with two journeys behind each one with the Space Shuttle, which is precisely the last US vehicle that brought astronauts to space in 2011. America returns to space thanks to an American vehicle, a nice return.

The launch therefore not only solves the problem of bringing astronauts in low orbit, 400 kilometers are just a few, but in fact opens a new era, one in which the history of the space race will be written by private companies, in addition to state agencies. In addition to SpaceX, which has pocketed a 2.6 billion dollar contract for six of these human transports, in August it will be the next with four astronauts on board, there is Boeing, which certainly has experience, even if it has failed his first capsule docking test he developed on his own, obviously without astronauts on the first attempt.

The departure of Musk’s rocket

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But returning to this launch in many moments it seemed to live a modern science fiction film: no command in the spotlessly clean spacecraft, only three large screens, no cloche or anything else but all controlled by light touches on the schemes. The rocket starts at the appointed time and the return of the first stage after a few minutes is amazing: in fact the second stage comes off with the Dragon spacecraft while the first stage begins the fall to the ground, but the auxiliary rockets light up and for some minute we have two to follow, one goes up towards the established goal and the other drops straight like a spindle on the ground and arrives with pinpoint accuracy on a platform in the middle of the sea.



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