NASA and SpaceX confirm first astronaut launch

James Marshall
August 10, 2020

Aside from a threat of bad weather, NASA and SpaceX confirmed Monday that everything is all-systems-go for their upcoming rocket launch with two American astronauts.

With the weather looking up, SpaceX and NASA officials vowed Tuesday to keep crew safety the top priority for the nation's first astronaut launch to orbit in almost a decade.

SpaceX was on the cusp of becoming the first private company to put astronauts in orbit, something achieved by just three countries - Russia, the US and China.

A successful flight will mark a milestone in the quest to produce reusable spacecraft that can make space travel more affordable. Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc.

Ahead of this much-anticipated launch, SpaceX tested an uncrewed version of Crew Dragon on 19 January.

SpaceX needs relatively calm waves and wind up the US and Canadian seaboard and across the North Atlantic to Ireland, in case astronauts Hurley and Behnken need to make an emergency splashdown. USA Since the launch of the last shuttle in July 2011.

Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 are now vertical at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) after completing a critical static fire test and dry dress rehearsal.

NASA and SpaceX confirmed on Tuesday that they are readying their first astronaut launch since the beginning of their Commercial Crew program in 2010.

Elon Musk's SpaceX goes against expectations.

Libby Jackson, human exploration programme manager at the UK Space Agency, said the work done by SpaceX and Nasa is not only a huge stepping stone for the U.S. but also a "major milestone for the global space sector". Hurley was the pilot of that mission.

Also, the next launch scheduled on May 30, Saturday. They will dock and open the hatch around two hours later.

But Mike McAleenan, a forecaster at the Cape Canaveral military base, said there is "some hope" for Wednesday: Florida weather has been changing rapidly as of late.

The first stage will return to a SpaceX landing ship which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, while the second part of the rocket continues the journey with the Crew Dragon capsule.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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