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NASA astronauts will fly on the ISS on the ship and the Space X rocket

Probably all of us would like to leave the planet directlynow, however, only two can do this: the American astronauts Hurley and Benken. Both astronauts are space flight veterans, both started as military pilots and in 2000 became NASA astronauts. For the past 10 years, they have not left the Kennedy Space Center in Florida - since NASA terminated the Space shuttle program in 2011. All this time, American astronauts flew on the ISS on rockets with Russian cosmonauts. The first astronaut launch on the ISS in 10 years, which will take place in the United States, is scheduled for May 27 at 16:32 (23:32 Moscow time) from the launch pad in the Kennedy Space Center. The SpaceX Crew Dragon will be delivered to the ISS by the Falcon 9 rocket. On board will be two NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the space agency did not cancel the launch. Watch this landmark event will be possible online, but previously it was assumed that the launch will bring together thousands of spectators. A limited number of journalists will be allowed to start. The mission will be the first test flight of the SpaceX spacecraft with crew on board.

Here is a render of the docking of SpaceX Crew Dragon to the ISS

How Elon Musk conquers space

Let me remind you that over the past decadeNASA astronauts flew aboard the Soyuz, and the cost of one seat exceeded $ 80 million - at a cost of 5 million. Right now, there is one NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy on the ISS, as well as two Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner, who launched on April 9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Crew Dragon crew will arrive next month. Earlier in April, SpaceX and NASA took part in a training emergency training exercise, thereby demonstrating that the crew can successfully evacuate in the event of an emergency before takeoff. This mission will also be the first for the head of SpaceX, Ilon Mask. Previously, his Falcon 9 rocket transported cargo to and from the International Space Station. According to CNBC, the duration of the mission has not yet been determined. It was originally supposed that the flight would last only 10 days or so, now it is expected that it will take several months, possibly up to 110 days. To return, astronauts use the Crew Dragon capsule, which will have to land on the coast in Florida.

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NASA partnered with SpaceX to develop capsulesand Boeing, however, the program suffered more than two years of delays. SpaceX also had delays: in April 2019, an explosion occurred during tests of the Dragon ship engines, read more in the material of my colleague Ilya Hel. The mission with the crew, which was originally supposed to take place in 2019, was postponed to 2020. Since then, the space company Ilona Mask has successfully conducted 26 tests of its upgraded parachute system to confirm its suitability for launch with the crew, as well as numerous simulations and interruption tests.

NASA astronauts Hurley and Benken have been working together for over 10 years

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I note that SpaceX was allocated 2.6 billiondollars to develop Crew Dragon. It is also noteworthy that for SpaceX this will be the first manned mission since its founding 18 years ago. A mission with a crew aboard Crew Dragon will be the final flight test for SpaceX before being certified for regular NASA missions. Last December, Boeing launched an unmanned test flight of its CST-100 Starliner capsule, but software bugs and oversights hindered the planned connection to the space station. Boeing is now planning another test flight at the end of the year, pushing back the company's first manned mission for 2021.

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Pandemic launch

Unfortunately, the CoVID-19 pandemic is seriousa complication of the already complex set of interrelated measures that ensure the continued presence of astronauts on board the International Space Station. NASA is negotiating with Roscosmos about additional security measures while sending future missions to the ISS this year. The plans include sending NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Shannon Walker, as well as Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the ISS. Well, we will look forward to this historic event, which will take place rather soon.