A new record for billionaire Elon Musk. Its private company, SpaceX’s crew Dragon Endeavor capsule, arrived at the International Space Station this Saturday with four astronauts, including Frenchman Thomas Pesket. Opportunity for the American company to strengthen its position in American space aircraft. This is the third time that SpaceX, the private company that ended Russia’s monopoly on station flights, has sent humans to ISS.
Endeavor began its docking maneuvers 424 kilometers off the Indian Ocean at 09:08 GMT, completing the process about ten minutes later, locking a mechanism with 12 consecutive latches, docking between ISS and spacecraft to live on NASA television.
“Heart capture over, welcome to Crew 2,” said U.S. astronaut Shannon Walker, the current ISS commander. “Thanks Shannon, we’re glad to be here and see you all in a few minutes,” replied American astronaut Shane Kimbero.
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Thomas Thomas Baskett of France for the European Space Agency (ESA), Americans Shane Kimbero and Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hosheid of Japan departed from the Kennedy Space Center 23 hours early Friday morning.
New era of space research
The performance was another success for SpaceX, a private company that imposed itself on NASA for space transport at a time when Boeing’s Starliner capsule was accumulating delays in its test flights. The success of SpaceX’s first unmanned test aircraft predates May 2020. With the success of its first unmanned test aircraft in May 2020, the SpaceX space shuttle program returned to the Americans the ability to accomplish this feat. “Shuttle” in 2011.
This is the first time a spacecraft has been re-used for drones, and Thruster has already been used in drone testing. Reducing costs by recycling equipment is one of NASA’s joint ventures with the private sector.
Two Crew Dragon spacecraft are now parked side by side on the ISS, which explains how SpaceX has become the primary transportation provider for the US space agency. “I think we’re meeting for a new era of space research,” billionaire Elon Musk, who plans to bring humans to the moon one day, told a post-launch press conference.
This fall is the upcoming SpaceX mission
With the arrival of four astronauts, the International Space Station will house an unusual 11 people. The four newcomers will meet the Crew-1 team a few days before returning from its mission. This voyage is a milestone for Europe, naming the star system Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our solar system, “Alpha”.
“This is truly a golden age for us in operating the International Space Station,” said Frank de Vinne, ISS project manager for the European Space Agency (ESA). The next European to be part of the SpaceX mission this fall is German Matthias Moorer and Italian Samantha Cristoboretti next spring. During its six-month journey, the team is responsible for conducting about 100 scientific experiments.
They focus on so-called “tissue chips” – small samples of human organs made up of different types of cells and used to study the aging of the immune system, kidney function and muscle loss.
The team will also take 1.5 million images of the Earth documenting events such as artificial lights, moss flowers and the eruption of Antarctic ice shelves at night. Another important part of the trip was to upgrade the station’s solar system by installing new compact panels that roll like a giant yoga mat.