Three Americans – Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker – got up with Japanese Soichi Noguchi at 7pm. 27 min. local time (Monday 2:27 Lithuanian) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The SpaceX spacecraft lifted nearly a decade of US dependence on Russian Soyuz missiles to fly American astronauts on TKS in 2011 after the completion of the Reusable Space Shuttle program.
“It’s a great day for the United States and a great day for Japan,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a press conference following the launch of the probe.
12 minutes after launch, the manned capsule successfully separated from the second stage of the launch vehicle, flying at an altitude of 200 km, 27 thousand. km per hour.
“It was an impressive run,” said Hopkins, the head of the mission.
SpaceX confirmed that Resilience reached its target orbit to reach TKS in less than 27 hours on Tuesday around 4pm. Greenwich Mean Time (18:00 Lithuania). Four new crew members will join the two Russian astronauts and an American astronaut already at work at the orbiting station. They will stay there for six months.
It was reported that the cockpit temperature control was briefly interrupted during the flight, but this problem was quickly resolved.
The spacecraft “works flawlessly,” SpaceX President Glynne Shotwell said at a press conference. However, he added, “we will be able to breathe better after about 26 hours when we deliver the crew to NASA.”
SpaceX briefly broadcasts live from inside the capsule, showing the astronauts sitting in their seats. Neither Russians nor Americans have ever hosted such broadcasts before.
US President-elect Joe Biden praised SpaceX’s Twitter launch as “a testament to the power of science, [rodantį], which we can achieve with our innovation, ingenuity and determination “. President Donald Trump has also welcomed this “great” event.
Vice President Mike Pence, who came to Florida with his wife Karen, and witnessed the rocket launch directly, spoke of “a new era of human space travel in America”.
Earlier last week, the Crew Dragon capsule became the first new NASA certified spacecraft in nearly 40 years since the Space Shuttle was launched. It is launched into space by the SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable launch vehicle.
Returning to Earth, Crew Dragon unloads the parachutes and lands in the ocean, like the spacecraft of the Apollo era.