A SpaceX rocket will launch four astronauts into space


SpaceX, a company founded by businessman Elon Musk, had previously successfully completed a demonstration mission between May and August, in which two astronauts were flown to the ISS and then returned to Earth without incident.

“I am extremely proud to say that we are resuming regular manned space flights launched from US soil, with a US rocket and spacecraft,” said NASA chief Jim Bridenstine.

The rocket will take off Saturday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The troupe is made up of the Americans Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and the Japanese Soichi Noguchi. The weather forecast is favorable.

Docking at the ISS is scheduled for eight and a half hours later, Sunday at 09:20 GMT.

With this mission, the Dragon capsules will become NASA’s means of transport, pending completion of the Boeing capsule, Starliner, which suffered significant problems during testing.

The operation confirms SpaceX as one of the most reliable suppliers of the US space agency.

SpaceX has already operated refueling flights in space stations with the cargo version of Dragon since 2012.

“In the next 15 months, we will launch seven manned and cargo Dragon missions for NASA,” Benji Reed, manned space flight chief at SpaceX, said during a conference call.

Starting in December, “every time we launch a dragon, there will be two in space at the same time, for long periods,” he said.

The next manned mission, scheduled for the end of March 2021, will bring on board the Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, with two Americans and a Japanese.

Source link