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Why the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule represents hope amid the coronavirus

SpaceX development cost NASA about $ 1.7 billion.

Photo:
Joe Raedle / .

The launch of SpaceX on Wednesday confirms the return to space of American astronauts for the first time in nearly a decade.

It is about of the first launch to be made by a private company that represents a sign of hope in case the launch is successful, for most citizens in the midst of the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. If it is not, it could become another hard blow to the nation’s morale.

Apollo 8

The space program also provided hope for Americans in 1968, as the Apollo 8 capsule orbited the Moon and astronauts read the book of Genesis as millions of people observed on Earth. That night’s broadcast breathed new life into a tragic year that recorded the murders of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

When a shuttle was taking off from Cape Canaveral, thousands of people gathered on the Florida coast to see the takeoff, this time, it is NASA who has asked citizens to stay home and watch the launch from the broadcast on streaming instead of traveling to the Kennedy Space Center to help protect your staff from possible exposure to the virus.

A new hope

The launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule represents the first launch of a manned rocket into the International Space Station since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011 when NASA selected Russia’s Soyuz rockets to launch their astronauts. towards the space station, experts believe that this is the end of that dependence on the Russians.

NASA chose two companies, Space X, by Elon Musk, and Boeing to build the vehicles to transport astronauts since 2014 when the commercial crew program began.

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This Wednesday it is expected that the Crew Dragon space capsule will be in charge of carrying astronauts from Cape Canaveral in Florida Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on the Falcon 9 rocket.

It is the first launch in which a private company uses its own spacecraft and the design of its rockets to put astronauts into orbit. This is a new awakening of the space industry and a new era in space flight in the United States.

The shuttles were built by companies under contract with the space agency but the program ended up costing nearly $ 1.6 billion per flight to the space agency as reported by the Space.com site.

SpaceX’s development with the Crew Dragon capsule cost the agency nearly $ 1.7 billion. according to The Planetary Society including delays in the project.

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In agreement it includes that the company will be able to manufacture and to use the spaceships to take private astronauts and even tourists to the station and perhaps to more distant places. According to Business Insider, actor Tom Cruise could shoot part of a movie in space with the help of SpaceX on the Space Station, but still a film studio has ventured to support it.

This is “a new era in manned space flight,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, during a press conference in early May.

It is all part of a big NASA to become a service buyer rather than a provider that will allow the agency to focus on goals how to get humans to Mars. In the event that the launch of SpaceX is successful on its first manned flight, hope may mark a new day amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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