NASA will send astronauts to the ISS for the first time using a reusable rocket and a reusable spacecraft
It became known that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has approved the transport of four astronauts to the International Space Station using SpaceX’s reusable launch vehicle and reusable spacecraft. As originally planned, the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon will take place on April 22 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It is worth noting that the upcoming launch will be the first for NASA when both a reusable rocket and a reusable human-crewed spacecraft are used to deliver astronauts to an orbital station. It is also noteworthy that in addition to the two Americans, representatives of two other countries will be on board the Crew Dragon at once. Japanese Akihiko Hoshide and Frenchman Thomas Pesce will go to the ISS and American astronauts Robert Shane Kimbrough and Megan MacArthur. They will spend the next six months aboard the ISS, and the current crew members of the station will soon return to Earth.
According to available data, preparation for launch is proceeding normally. During testing of the launch vehicle systems, a problem was discovered related to the overfilling of the first-stage tanks with fuel. It is expected that technicians will fix this problem before launching the rocket. Currently, engineers are making sure that the fuel level mismatch does not pose a threat to the safety of people. If everything goes according to NASA’s plan, it will be possible to watch the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon on the official website of the aerospace agency online.