- SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was loaded with cargo to the International Space Station on Monday.
- The spacecraft is near the SpaceX crew dragon ship that put four astronauts into orbit last month.
- For the next 13 months, SpaceX will have at least one spaceship in orbit.
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A SpaceX Dragon capsule landed on the International Space Station on Monday after being launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Unlike the crew dragon spacecraft that launched four astronauts into orbit a few weeks ago, this model is designed to deliver objects into and out of space. It carried more than 6,400 pounds of Christmas presents, scientific experiments and other redistribution materials. The crew dragon is still connected to ISS – decided to remain in space until May and fly its crew back to Earth.
Now, two spacecraft have been docked for the first time at Elon Musk’s rocket company.
“I want to say a big congratulations,” said Kate Rubins, a NASA astronaut who has been at the station since October. On NASA TV After the dragon docked.
“It’s amazing to think you docked four crew members a month ago,” Rubins added, referring to the SpaceX mission’s Crew-1 mission, which includes NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and the Japan Aerospace Exploration. Agency astronaut Sochi Noguchi. “Now you bring us a vehicle full of world-class science.
The cargo dragon spacecraft will remain at the station for a month before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and parachutes into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the 21st time that SpaceX has sent cargo in one of its spacecraft – it performs regular missions for this purpose. Since 2012.
SpaceX will have at least one spaceship in continuous orbit until the end of next year.
A picture taken from the space station on Monday (below) shows the Dragon docked at one of the two ports of the International Space Station. The image labeled with the arrows above shows the cargo dragon’s nose corner at the top of the image and the crew dragon’s sliver on the left.
Monday Docking is the latest event in SpaceX’s busiest launch period.
By December 2021, the spacecraft’s two types of Dragon spacecraft – for crew and cargo – will be launched into space 13 times since the company’s test flight of the crew dragon in March 2019.
What’s more, if all goes according to plan, the spaceships will be in orbit for 13 consecutive months by the end of next year.
“Every time a dragon is launched, there will be two dragons in space,” Bench Reid, Crew Mission’s managing director at SpaceX, told a news conference in October.
The company’s next space mission, the Crew-2, will be launched in March. So those astronauts will overlap with the crew-1 crew until May. The same should happen with Crew-3, the following mission: it is expected to launch in September 2021, so it should be tagged with Crew-2 in orbit.
SpaceX wins NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
SpaceX’s space missions and the survival of the crew dragon – a product of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which competes with private companies for government contracts worth billions of dollars. SpaceX and Boeing finally won.
Is Boeing Hope to launch The first crude demonstration mission of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in June 2021. NASA astronauts selected for that first flight were Barry Wilmore, Michael Finke, and Nicole Un Napu Mann.
But first, an attempt in December 2019 failed and Boeing had to retry an Uncrowded Demonstration Mission. During that flight, Starliner successfully entered orbit but failed to reconnect with the space station due to software bugs that NASA later investigated.
Crew Dragon is the only ship that will carry astronauts in and out of the space station until the stages required for certification are completed by Starliner.