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NASA & SpaceX launched astronauts into space

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NASA & SpaceX
Crew Dragon Spacecraft takes off

Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. 01 June 2020. It was a weekend which began on an exciting note for the US amidst all the bad news of racial riots. NASA and SpaceX launched NASA astronauts Air Force Col. Robert L. Behnken and retired Marine Corps Col. Douglas G. Hurley into space at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as part of NASA’s Demo-2 mission on Saturday 30 May 2020 and they successfully docked with the International Space Station on Sunday 31 May 2020, thus making the weekend gone by the most memorable.

The two lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at 3:22 p.m. aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which sat atop a Falcon 9 rocket. It was the first time the Falcon 9 carried humans into orbit. During the mission, the spacecraft reached speeds as high as 17,000 mph.

President Donald J. Trump

Following the launch, President Donald J. Trump spoke from the Kennedy Space Center about what the launch means for Americans.

“As we gather in this special place to celebrate not only the launch of a new spacecraft but also our nation’s bold and triumphant return to the stars, it’s a special day,” Trump said. “Moments ago the world bore witness to the flight of the first, new manned U.S. spacecraft in nearly 40 years, since the Space Shuttle launched in 1981 — a long time ago. I am thrilled to announce that the SpaceX Dragon capsule has successfully reached low Earth orbit and that our astronauts are safe and sound.”

In orbit, the crew conducted tests to ensure the spacecraft was performing the way it should and in about 19 hours it will be at the International Space Station.For the first time in history, NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts lifted off at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket .

Col. Robert L. Behnken & Col. Douglas G. Hurley

“Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States. The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars.”

Known as NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2, the mission is an end-to-end test flight to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launch, in-orbit, docking and landing operations. This is SpaceX’s second spaceflight test of its Crew Dragon and its first test with astronauts aboard, which will pave the way for its certification for regular crew flights to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

“This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX,” said Elon Musk, chief engineer at SpaceX. “It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen. You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”

The program demonstrates NASA’s commitment to investing in commercial companies through public-private partnerships and builds on the success of American companies, including SpaceX, already delivering cargo to the space station.

“Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States. The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars.”

Known as NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2, the mission is an end-to-end test flight to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launch, in-orbit, docking and landing operations. This is SpaceX’s second spaceflight test of its Crew Dragon and its first test with astronauts aboard, which will pave the way for its certification for regular crew flights to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

SpaceX team, by NASA

“This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX,” said Elon Musk, chief engineer at SpaceX. “It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen. You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”

The program demonstrates NASA’s commitment to investing in commercial companies through public-private partnerships and builds on the success of American companies, including SpaceX, already delivering cargo to the space station.

All pictures courtesy NASA

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