On the night of November 16, SpaceX for the second timeused her Crew Dragon spacecraft to send people to the International Space Station. The first time took place in May 2020 and two astronauts were sent to the station. This time, four people were on board at once: three American astronauts and one Japanese taikonaut... This event is considered very important becausethis is SpaceX's first regular mission under the NASA program. Approximately 27 hours after launch, the spacecraft will dock with the ISS and its passengers will stay at the station for about 6 months. But let's start in order - how was the launch of the ship this time, who are its passengers and for what other reasons did this event attract so much attention? It turns out that the "trampoline" really works?
Taikonaut - a person who conducts tests in space. In Russia they are called cosmonauts, and in the USA they are called astronauts.
Crew Dragon's second launch
Initially, the launch of the ship was plannedproduced earlier, but it was postponed due to bad weather conditions. But on November 16, at 03:27 Moscow time, the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with the Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After bringing the spacecraft to a sufficient height, the first stage of the Falcon 9 separated from it and safely landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. After minor repairs, it can be reused.
SpaceX vs. Roscosmos
In May 2020, SpaceX proved that sendingpeople on the ISS can even be entrusted to a private company. It successfully delivered astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, and charged much less money from NASA than Roscosmos. After all, the round trip on Russian Soyuz aircraft cost the Americans a whopping $ 85 million per person. And the cost of one seat on Crew Dragon is estimated at about $ 55 million.
While on the roscosmos.ru a section with poems by Dmitry Rogozin (head of Roscosmos) appeared, SpaceX was able to place 3 people on the ship at once. And the Russian "Soyuz" could accommodate a maximum of 3 people. That is, if NASA needed to send four astronauts to the ISS at one time, one of them would have to wait for the next flight. Now the aerospace agency can get more people to the station for less money.
The fact that SpaceX is already officialbegan to fulfill orders for regular passenger flights into space, proves that "the trampoline works." Recall that in 2014, Dmitry Rogozin, in response to sanctions against his cosmodrome, suggested that his American colleagues "deliver their astronauts to the ISS using a trampoline." After the first launch of Crew Dragon with astronauts on board in May 2020, Elon Musk laughingly emphasized during the conference that "the trampoline works."
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Donald Trump and Joe Biden have already congratulated SpaceXwith another success. No comments from Roscosmos have been noticed yet. At the moment, it is only known that Russian cosmonauts will be able to fly on the Crew Dragon spacecraft in the summer of 2021. This, at least, was reported by the head of NASA's manned flights department Kathy Lueders.