SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule, with four astronauts on board, docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday. A new success for the company founded by Elon Musk that strengthens its position in human spaceflight.
This is the third time that the private company SpaceX, which ended Russia’s monopoly on flights to the station, has brought humans to the International Space Station.
Endeavor began the docking maneuver at 11:08 am (in Switzerland), at an altitude of 424 kilometers over the Indian Ocean, a process that was completed about ten minutes later, with a mechanism that locks on a chain of 12 latches. Docking between the International Space Station and the spacecraft, according to live NASA TV images.
Two hours later, the Crew-2 team, composed of Frenchman Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA), Americans Shane Kimbroh and Megan MacArthur and Japanese Akihiko Hoshid took a picture with the seven astronauts already in orbit. Station.
The International Space Station is unusually populated, with eleven passengers, as the newcomers will live for a few days with a crew from Crew-1, SpaceX’s previous mission, before the latter returns to Earth.
>> Also see the 12:45 PM report that came back the moment the capsule docked at the International Space Station:
This is the first time that the SpaceX mission has transported a European astronaut to the International Space Station, and Thomas Pisquet praised the international cooperation that made this possible.
“It has been 20 years since the Japanese Space Agency (Japan Space Agency), European Space Agency (European Space Agency), NASA and Russian astronauts were not together in space, so what is happening today is historic,” he said. “I would like to thank all the people who worked on this mission,” he added in French.
Crew-2 members had taken off from the Kennedy Space Center approximately 23 hours before Friday dawn.
A success for SpaceX
The performance is a new success for the private SpaceX, which has established itself on NASA’s space transportation agency, at a time when Boeing’s Starliner capsule is piling up on its test flights.
With the success of its first manned test flight in May 2020, SpaceX broke the Russian monopoly on flights to the International Space Station. He restored the ability to accomplish this feat after the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.
This is the first time that a space capsule has been reused on a manned flight, and the propellant has already been used in an unmanned test mission. Reducing costs by recycling equipment is one of the goals of NASA’s partnerships with the private sector.
The two Dragon Crew spacecraft are now stationed side by side on the International Space Station, illustrating how SpaceX became the primary transportation provider for the US Space Agency.
“A new era,” according to Elon Musk
“I think we’re on the cusp of a new era of space exploration,” billionaire Elon Musk, who plans to bring humans to Earth, said at a post-launch press conference. Moon and mars.
The Crew-2 mission is a milestone for Europe, as it was named “Alpha” after the Alpha Centauri star system, the closest star system to our solar system.
“This is really a golden age for us in terms of operating the International Space Station,” said Frank de Winn, Head of the International Space Station Program at the European Space Agency (ESA).
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