The National Aeronautics And Space Mission (NASA) has been a pioneer of Space operations for a long period of time. However, it has stagnated for some time the latest incident being the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Fleet in 2011 which took away its ability to send its own people into the orbit.
However, things are set to change as the US will see two of its astronauts return to space after a gap of nearly a decade. This will be achieved through a public-private partnership with Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. At 4.33 PM, a Dragon crew capsule attached to a Falcon 9 rocket is set to take flight from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, bound for the International Space Station (ISS). It will carry two Americans as test pilots, both veterans of previous space shuttle missions. They will remain there for up to three months while mission managers evaluate the spaceship’s performance.
This will be a big moment for the space ambitions of the US in the future. The country has been focusing its energies on sending astronauts on the moon by 2024. Let’s find out the finer points of this mission through the people who are handling things.
WHAT DOES NASA PLAN TO DO WITH THIS MISSION?
The interesting thing is that both astronauts will arrive at the launch pad in an electronic car manufactured by Tesla, namely Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. This will be an acknowledgment of how things have changed over the years.
“We are on the cusp of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil yet again,” said Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, who referred to Wednesday’s planned launch as “the big show”.
“This time we’re doing it differently than we’ve ever done it before. NASA is not going to purchase, own, and operate the hardware the way we used to. We are partnering with commercial industry with the intent that they would go get customers that are not Nasa, drive down our costs, and increase the access to space.”
This is some interesting news in the times of coronavirus. The project is a result of decades of hard work. Dedicated scientists have been working to make this model work since 2010.
The future requires private capital to flow into the space industry. That requires a fair degree of initiative by companies. They must realize the potential of this business sooner rather than later.