Science

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Successfully Docked the ISS and Achieved a Milestone in Commercial Crew Program

It’s a time of celebration for SpaceX and NASA. Both completed a successful launch of a new capsule on Saturday. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is on a round trip to the ISS which will last for a week. The mission is a crucial step, and it allows to restart crewed space flights from America. Previously NASA used a Space Shuttle program to ferry astronauts from Earth to the ISS. But the program retired in 2011, and NASA contracted with Russia for the service. Currently, the American space agency uses the Russian Soyuz rocket to get people into orbit. Thus the Demo-1 mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon marks a significant milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The unscrewed flight is the first commercially developed aircraft, that traveled atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The liftoff took place at 02:49 am from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After the successful completion of the first two stages, Crew Dragon entered in Earth’s orbit. After all these steps it is essential to dock with the ISS safely. The capsule automatically docked with the space station without any assistance. Other space vehicles require help from crew or a robotic arm to dock to the space station. Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s head, said today represents a new era in space flight.

Crew Dragon carried a payload of about 400 pounds, including crew supplies and equipment, to the ISS. This time, the capsule contained a dummy named Ripley. But NASA intends to send two astronauts aboard Crew Dragon. Ripley encloses sensors specially designed to record details of the journey. The data will offer valuable information for the upcoming crewed missions. According to SpaceX, the mannequin is covered by a spacesuit. It will serve to confirm that the capsule is safe to carry human beings. There is one more company functioning to develop a space vehicle. Boeing is creating the Starliner, again it is a space vessel, unlike SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. In the end, NASA expects to finish its dependence on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

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