May 27: access to space in the USA reopens after nine years
Two astronauts take off from Cape Canaveral with an Elon Musk spaceship
AVIONEWS writes that May 27th will mark a historic moment in the conquest of Space. Next Wednesday in the afternoon at 4:33 local time, 10:33pm Italian time, from the Cape Canaveral NASA base in Orlando, Florida, the "Crew Dragon" capsule will take off with two men on board.
For NASA and the United States - AVIONEWS reports- it will be a fundamental event because, nine years after the last launch, astronauts will return to space taking off from the US base. And they will make it with Demo-2, the first NASA mission in history that sees the participation by a private individual and the first, since 1982, with only two astronauts. As for the company's Elon Musk, the other star of the day, the mission will be a further step towards the ultimate goal of the billionaire who wants to open the space to private and colonize Mars.
The two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will take off with their Falcon 9 from 39A ramp of the Kennedy Space Center. The same station -AVIONEWS remembers- from which over 50 years ago, Apollo 11 took off in flight, by the famous Saturn V that allowed it to take the man to the Moon.
For the first time -AVIONEWS writes it- on board a Space X aircraft there will be two astronauts, and not Musk-like mannequins, like the one sent together with the Tesla Roadster in orbit around the Sun.
If successful, the horizons of the Musk space company will expand widely, also opening up new business opportunities, such as the already planned space tourism one, thanks to the possibility of transporting a human crew with their own means.
It is from 2011, the year of retirement by the Space Shuttle, the undisputed symbol of American supremacy in space, but also the scenario of catastrophes and financial failures, that the USA has relied on the Russians to launch their astronauts beyond the atmosphere. The "stars and stripes" country does not have its own means of shipping astronauts. Not a small business if we consider that the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, collects about 80 million dollars for the transportation of an astronaut to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
For Elon Musk, with the "Crew Demo-2" the experimental part of the long journey, called Commercial Crew, ends with which NASA has enhanced the private space sector with billions of dollars of incentives and contracts, in order to stimulate innovative processes while reducing the cost of access to space through the development of new concepts. First of all, the recovery system of the first stage of the Falcon 9, the only carriers in the world capable of returning to the Earth's surface after pushing their paying load into orbit. An innovative method that permits to minimize the costs of a launch, ensuring to control the entire market for access to space.
But Musk and his SpaceX aren't the only private NASA partners. AVIONEWS recalls that the US space agency works hard at Artemis, should allow the return of astronauts to the surface of the Moon and build a space station in orbit around our natural satellite. Among the companies competing to participate in the program also the Italian component of Thales.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency