Trump to attend manned SpaceX launch - should journalists be anxious?

James Marshall
May 25, 2020

President Donald Trump plans to travel to Florida on Wednesday to view the launch of SpaceX's manned test mission to the International Space Station, according to a USA official. As the last flight test for SpaceX, this mission will validate the company's crew transportation system.

NASA gave the green light on Friday to next week's launch of two astronauts aboard a SpaceX vessel - the first crewed space flight from USA soil in nine years and a crucial step towards ending American dependence on Russian rockets.

Post a heavy breakfast, the astronauts will suit up and arrive at the historic launch pad 39a at the NASA Kennedy Space Center three hours ahead of launch.

Jurczyk noted that the review ended with "no significant open issues" yet to resolve.

"No, I don't think so", Walheim responded.

US-Russia cooperation is not expected to end once Crew Dragon goes into service.

It was the first Commercial Crew vehicle to visit the ISS. "We've had the time to go through all the tests and all the procedures, all of the development, and make sure we understand what they're doing to make sure we're comfortable with it", he said.

After 25 minutes of setting everything in order, the transit hatch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft will be locked. NASA and SpaceX did "a tremendous amount of work" to mitigate those concerns, Jurczyk said.

Should the launch be successful, Nasa will end its dependence on Russian Federation and the use of Soyuz rockets for sending and receiving astronauts into orbit.

Now, with the launch fast approaching, it's an all-hands-on-deck scenario for SpaceX and NASA staff at Kennedy. While the spacecraft is programmed to do the docking automatically, the crew will be constantly monitoring it.

"We envision a day in the future where we have a dozen space stations in low Earth orbit".

SpaceX finally came out on top with its cheaper Falcon 9 rocket, the first stage of which comes back to land vertically on a barge in the Atlantic. The agency is set to blast off two astronauts on a SpaceX flight into orbit.

Elon Musk's SpaceX is the conductor and NASA the customer as businesses begin chauffeuring astronauts to the International Space Station. That final rehearsal, she said, is meant to make sure "everything is working days before the launch". He has ordered Nasa to return to the moon by 2024.

But his successor sees it as a symbol of his strategy to reassert American domination of space, both military - with his creation of the Space Force - and civilian.

Kirk Shireman, NASA ISS program manager, said SpaceX made an unspecified change to the spacecraft after the Demo-1 mission to fix a "very, very remote" possibility of a spacecraft failure that could damage the station.

Unlike the space shuttle - which suffered two fatal accidents - the SpaceX capsule includes an emergency escape system in the event there is a problem after liftoff.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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