SpaceX launches humans into space for the first time in history on a used rocket and ship


SpaceX launches humans into space for the first time in history on a used rocket and ship

As expected, SpaceX today at 12:49 pm Moscow time sent another crew from the historic site 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station. An important feature of the mission was the use for the first time in the history of the previously used ship and the first stage (previously, people were sent into orbit only with disposable rockets and reusable ships).


The Falcon 9 booster has successfully landed on the Of Course I Still Love You unmanned barge. This is the 80th successful return of the first stages of SpaceX’s orbital-class. The second stage also separated, and the Crew Dragon Endeavor is expected to dock with the ISS only on April 24, at about 12:09 Moscow time – as a result, two Crew Dragon ships will be docked at the orbital station at the same time.

Crew Dragon Endeavor was previously used during the Demo-2 human-crewed test flight in May 2020, the first from American soil in almost a decade, when it delivered two cosmonauts to the ISS – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who did not last long. Stayed as guests of the orbital laboratory.

This time, the crew of Crew-2 includes astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur and specialist Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Agency, and Frenchman Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. This team will be in orbit for six months. The long-term Crew-1 crew, dispatched in November 2020, will return to Earth on April 28. It consists of four astronauts: Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Soichi Noguchi.

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The Falcon 9 booster used in this mission – a slightly smoked rocket that passes SpaceX’s B1061 nomenclature – has been used once before, when launching the crewed Crew-1 mission in November.

SpaceX is successfully implementing a $ 2.6 billion contract with NASA. The next human-crewed mission, Crew-3, is scheduled for October 23, and Crew-4 will take place in 2022. In December last year, NASA has already selected three members of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission – NASA cosmonauts Commander Raja Chari and pilot Tom Marshburn and ESA specialist Matthias Maurer. The fourth member of the crew should be named later – possibly Russian cosmonaut Sergei Korsakov.


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