NASA sends US astronauts to the ISS for the first time in almost nine years
WASHINGTON, (BM) – The date of the first flight of the new spacecraft Crew Dragon was announced on Friday by the head of the United States Space Department Jim Brydenstein, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
This is a historical moment – both for the United States and for the whole world. Recall that America has not carried out manned space launches since the decommissioning of the Space Shuttle in 2011.
Astronauts performed and continue to fly to the International Space Station using Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Recall, on April 9, the Russian transport manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-16 went to the station: the American Chris Cassidy entered the crew.
NASA’s planned abandonment of the Soyuz is due to several reasons, among which is the desire to reduce its dependence on Russia in the space industry. In addition, the Soyuz MS vehicles, being the development of the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, no longer fully meet the requirements of the 21st century.
Now both the United States and Russia want to have ships with more comfortable conditions for crew members. Crew Dragon meets new requirements.
Recall that the new device completed its first flight in unmanned mode on March 2, 2019: then the spacecraft docked with the ISS and successfully returned to Earth.
Scheduled for May 29, the first manned launch previously received the designation SpaceX DM-2. Within it, two astronauts – Douglas Hurley and Bob Benken – must be delivered to the station. As a rocket, they use Falcon 9 Block 5. It, like the Crew Dragon spacecraft, was developed by SpaceX.
The media shows a very high level of reliability: almost all Falcon 9 launches were successful. However, difficulties with the ship itself cannot be ruled out. Recall, on April 20, 2019, during the testing of the Crew Dragon capsule, an accident occurred.
According to the results of the investigation, it was associated with the ingress of amyl into the tubes for supplying helium through a non-return valve, which caused damage to the fuel system and destruction of the capsule. This event forced SpaceX to postpone the launch from the summer of 2019 to 2020.
Difficulties have recently been plagued by the main (and, in fact, the only) competitor Crew Dragon – the CST-100 spaceship from Boeing Corporation. The partially unsuccessful first launch of the ship on December 20 last year already forced her to conduct additional unmanned tests.
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