Elon Musk: humanity can be proud of the launch of Crew Dragon
SpaceX founder Ilon Musk said that humanity can be proud of its new manned spacecraft Crew Dragon, launched by the United States for the first time since 2011, which is due to dock with the ISS on May 31. The flight to the International Space Station will last 19 hours.
Musk said this during a NASA broadcast at a briefing at the Kennedy Space Center.
It was the first U.S. manned flight in the past nine years, when reusable shuttle flights stopped, and it is also the first space flight of a private company with people on board. The Atlantis shuttle was the last to fly, after which American astronauts were delivered to the ISS by Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
“This ship is made by people, and humanity can be proud of this achievement. Of course, this launch will find a response among all those who are a researcher in their hearts. Emotions overwhelm me. We will now have to safely return the astronauts to Earth and make it happen again and again, ”said Elon Musk.
According to the founder of SpaceX, the launch of Crew Dragon was the first step of mankind on the path to a program to explore Mars. Musk also did not rule out that in two to four years it would be possible to fly around the moon.
The day before, the launch of Crew Dragon, piloted by American astronauts Douglas Harley and Robert Benken, was carried out using the Falcon 9 launch vehicle from the launch site at Cape Canaveral at 22:22 Moscow time. Initially, the flight was supposed to take place on May 27, but due to bad weather its launch was delayed 16 minutes before the start.
Initially, the launch was estimated at $ 3.14 billion, but after it was transferred, the cost of the mission increased.
The first ever NASA mission, carried out by a private company, is designed to prove the viability of the company's crew transportation system, including a launch pad, launch vehicle, ship, and operational capabilities.
It is reported that the launched SpaceX ship has a unique feature - for the first time in the history of manned missions, the relationship with the Earth is carried out through the touch panel.
On May 31, the ship is scheduled to dock with the ISS. After docking, the astronauts will stay for a while at the station, where several more Crew Dragon trials are planned. The date the astronauts returned to Earth remains open, it will be determined later, depending on the degree of readiness for the next flight. According to the plans of NASA, returning to Earth, the ship is brought down off the coast of Florida.
In March 2019, a similar ship, but without astronauts, made a successful flight to the ISS. Developed on the basis of the SpaceX cargo ship, for the last eight years it has been delivering cargo to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.