May 30, 2020 a historic event took place- SpaceX successfully launched the Crew Dragon spaceship with people on board. The Falcon 9 launch vehicle was used to launch, and astronauts Bob Benken and Dag Hurley were inside the capsule. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a floating platform and, after checking for operability, will be ready for reuse. A few hours after the start, the astronauts launched a live broadcast and arranged for the audience a short tour of the Crew Dragon. They gave the ship its name, showed the controls and talked about a toy in the form of a dinosaur, which began to fly in front of the eyes of mission participants a few minutes after launch.
Astronauts for a long time held the name of the shipin secret, so before launch it was known as Capsule 206. During the broadcast, the pilots announced that they had given the ship the name Endeavor. From the English language this word can be translated as “effort” or “aspiration”. Thus, astronauts emphasized that the launch of the Crew Dragon ship is the result of the efforts of SpaceX, NASA and the United States as a whole. There is also a note of nostalgia in this name because Bob Benken and Doug Hurley made their first flights in the early 2000s on the Endeavor shuttles.
Astronauts inside the Crew Dragona lot of experience in space travel. Initially, Bob Benken was a test pilot, but in 2000 he was admitted to NASA. Throughout his career, he managed to participate in two space missions and spent a total of 37 hours in open space. As part of the current mission, he is responsible for docking and undocking the ship from the International Space Station.
Doug Hurley has a little less experience, but he toowell done - as part of two space missions, he spent 28 days on the International Space Station. He was also a test pilot and in 2000 was admitted to NASA. As part of his current mission, he is responsible for launching and landing the Crew Dragon.
Your little Crew Dragon tourastronauts began with a demonstration of the control panel. In 1967, the Apollo 4 spacecraft was controlled by hundreds of buttons and switches, and displays appeared on Space Shuttle in the early 2000s. Inside the modern Crew Dragon, everything is done through a touchscreen display.
As a rule, docking with the ISS occurs inautomatic mode, but if necessary, astronauts can take control. On the video, you can even see the interface with touch buttons that allow you to manually align the ship with the space station for a successful docking. For attentive readers of our site, this screen can be very familiar, because we recently wrote about the Crew Dragon docking simulator with the ISS, which can be run directly in the browser.
Astronauts also showed what is behindtouch screens. There is a small platform with portholes through which you can look at outer space. The astronauts tried to show what was happening outside the ship, but nothing sensible came of it - we saw only the reflection of Bob and Doug, who conducted the tour, holding the camera in turn.
The toy was taken on board far from for fun -it is a kind of indicator of weightlessness. When the dinosaur began to fly in front of the eyes of the astronauts, they immediately learned about the decrease in gravity. This is not the first time a toy has appeared inside a Crew Dragon ship. In March 2019, the ship flew to the International Space Station with no people on board - there was only a plush toy in the form of the Earth.
The plush planet remained at the station. Last year, astronaut Bob Benken even joked that by their arrival the toy could become a full member of the ISS and talk about the current situation on board.
My colleague Artem Sutyagin in one of hismaterials told about all the souvenirs that NASA sent into space. Among them are coins, the cartoon dog Snoopy and even a Jedi sword. This industry is full of romance!
At the time of this writing, CrewDragon has already docked with the International Space Station and very soon astronauts Chris Cassidy, Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner will meet guests. Among those who meet, of course, there will be plush Earth.