Ilon Mask would like to fly on the "Dragon". And yet, build a lunar base with NASA

After the first successful launch of spaceSpaceX spacecraft Crew Dragon, designed to deliver American astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA aerospace agency conducted at the. Kennedy held a press conference, in which the head of the private space company Ilon Musk also took part. After listening to congratulations, Musk said that he would not mind once to fly on the spacecraft created by his company.

Recall that on the morning of March 2 from the launch padLC-39A Space Center. Kennedy, Florida, in the framework of the 6-day demonstration mission Demo-1, the Falcon 9 launch vehicle was launched with the Crew Dragon spacecraft. There was no one on board the ship going to the ISS, unless, of course, the Ripley dummy (named after the heroine of the fantasy action movie Aliens), as well as a plush toy in the shape of the Earth placed in the apparatus as an indicator of weightlessness, were considered. . The mannequin “dressed” in the SpaceX spacesuit prototype and equipped with various sensors that monitored the state of the environment inside the ship. This information will help in the preparation of already real missions to send astronauts to near-earth orbit.

In addition, Crew Dragon took to the ISS 182kilograms of food, scientific equipment and materials. As part of the ISS, the ship will stay for five days, and then descend from orbit and land in the Atlantic Ocean, from there it will be taken by the rescue ship.

“Today is a big day for both the USA and NASA. Today, a new era of space flight begins for us, ”said the head of the US aerospace agency Jim Brydenstein during a press conference.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft was created inunder the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) - NASA's multi-stage program for the development of private manned spacecraft to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station, for which the agency allocated a total of $ 8 billion. The program was launched after in 2011 the United States decided to close the program of operating space shuttles for security reasons and the high cost of launches - approximately $ 1.5 billion for one.

In a general sense, added Braidenstein, a newthe program is aimed not only at returning the US the ability to independently conduct manned space launches, but also to reduce their cost, opening up the possibility for more people to visit space.

"17 years have passed, but so far no one has been sentto space. We hope that this year we will be able to do it. Not only for me, but also for other people in SpaceX, this will be an amazing culmination of a long and hard work on the fulfillment of a dream, ”commented Musk, referring to the history of the founding of SpaceX in 2002.

"Would you agree to fly on it?"

After the Crew Dragon dockedThe astronaut Oleg Kononenko and the astronaut David San-Jacques, who are on board the station, took air samples from the Dragon, tested their gas masks, and reported to the Earth about their state of being. By the way, not for the first time Oleg Kononenko meets on board the ISS a new SpaceX ship. In May 2012, the first private Dragon truck was docked, he was met by the crew of the ISS-31 expedition under the command of Oleg Kononenko.

This docking was for SpaceX team quiteexciting Despite the fact that SpaceX had previously successfully sent 16 spacecraft to the ISS, they all docked with the station using a special robotic arm. This time, the company used automatic docking mode for the first time. Its analysis will allow SpaceX specialists to deal with a variety of technical processes that cannot be modeled on Earth. They are critical to understanding the design and ability of systems to support flight with a crew.

"To be honest, I feel emotionallyexhausted. Because for us it was a very stressful stage. But it all happened well. We docked to the station. Now we need to return the ship back to Earth. So far, so good. We have gone through one of the most critical and risky phases of this mission, ”Musk said during a press conference.

The head of a private space company added that“The smartest people working at SpaceX had to do an insane amount of hard work” in order to create Crew Dragon and “NASA made a great contribution to this work.”

To the question of journalists that Musk would not like to personally ride on the Dragon, he did not hesitate to give an affirmative answer.

“I would be happy to fly on this machine. I think it’s great for this. Still, it is better to first wait for the verification data, and then draw conclusions, ”commented Musk.

As mentioned above, at a press conferencenot only Musk participated, but also the head of NASA Brydenstein, as well as other veterans of the American Space Agency, including two test-astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley. If the first demonstration mission of Crew Dragon is completed successfully, these two people will take part in the second test mission of Demo-2, going to the ISS in July of this year (after additional testing of the crew’s emergency rescue system to be held in April).

Ilon Musk talks with NASA astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley. They will fly to the ISS as part of the second demonstration mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft this summer.

Musk noted that the first mission of Crew Dragonturned out to be very stressful for him and the whole company, because the result will depend on how people feel who fly with the second mission. He also added that immediately after the unit had separated from the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, he approached the astronauts and asked them what they thought of this module.

“I asked if they would decide to fly it. Both said that they agreed, adding that they were waiting for the successful completion of the first mission, ”said Musk.

"The guys from SpaceX before the launch told uswhat and how will happen. We were very pleased and pleased that everything happened exactly as we were told. That is what gives us confidence in success, ”commented the astronauts.

Will SpaceX and NASA cooperate in a project to build a lunar base?

NASA Aerospace Agency head Jim Brydenstein and SpaceX founder Ilon Musk after a press conference on March 2

Toward the end of the conference, inquisitive journaliststried to find out from Mask and Brydenstein about the future plans of SpaceX and NASA, hinting at the continued cooperation of the two parties on issues related to the exploration of deep space.

“We want to build a base on the moon. A permanent habitable station on the satellite, and then we are going to send people to Mars, ”answered Musk when asked about what SpaceX plans to do after the Crew Dragon manned spacecraft begins to fully operate.

After that he added:

“Perhaps our cooperation will not be connectedonly with questions around the International Space Station. We'll see. Now we need to focus on that. Now for us it is a priority. But after that, we may consider issues related to the implementation of programs outside the low near-earth orbit. ”

After this, Brydenstein concluded the press conference with a long statement that the future of NASA is on the same plane as the SpaceX objectives.

“We have just heard Ilon saying that he is interested in building a permanent space base on the moon,” said Bidenstein.

“Of course, we must do this,” Musk interrupted.

"Returning to the moon is the most important taskdelivered to NASA by the president of the United States, ”continued Bidenstein. “We have no doubt that SpaceX has really great ideas that can help us in this matter.”

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