The Space X spacecraft left for space on Sunday evening accompanied by 4 astronauts. NASA hopes that this will be the beginning of an era when the International Space Station will finally be staffed with a sufficient number of astronauts to work on the ISS.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi (astronaut of the Japanese Space Agency) are currently in a SpaceX capsule called Crew Dragon. This spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) today, at 23:00 US time. It will take the crew 27 hours to reach the ISS.
Initially, the NASA Crew Dragon was scheduled to launch last Saturday, and then for the spacecraft, due to its different location in orbit, 8 hours would be enough to reach the ISS, but due to bad weather, primarily due to Hurricane Etta, launch was delayed until Sunday evening.
The capsule is secured to the bathroom, and as long as its space is monitored by SpaceX representatives from NASA from Houston (Texas) and Hawthorne (California), astronomers will also have time to wake up.
This mission is very important for both NASA and SpaceX, as it is the first fully operational crew mission. In addition, a test flight is scheduled for May 2021, which will send NASA astronauts Douglas Harley and Robert Benken to the space station.
However, this particular mission is not an experiment: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is officially certified as a spacecraft capable of transporting people into space. Through it, traveling astronauts with different education and knowledge into space can become a routine. For example, in this particular mission, both Walker and Noguchi received their education in physics. One crew member is responsible for conducting various types of experiments during their stay on the ISS, which spans 6 months.
He should also conduct research on how microgravity affects human heart tissue. In addition, the experimenter will try to increase the bulk at the station, and based on it, studies will be conducted to study how food can be increased in space, which will ultimately lead to longer spaceflight.
This mission has been in question for some time, after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter that he had symptoms of the coronavirus. Because of this, NASA investigated his contacts to make sure that none of the crew members were infected.
NASA officials said the contact study was completed last Friday and that the crew had nothing to worry about, so nothing stood in the way of the mission. On Saturday, Musk said his condition was “probably a mediocre case of coronavirus.”