SpaceX, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private rocket company, was forced by foul weather to scrub a planned launch on Wednesday of two Americans into orbit from Florida, a mission that would mark the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years.
- Space Exploration Technologies Corp., trading as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California.
- The Mission is called Launch America
- It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.
- NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission will return human spaceflight to the International Space Station from U.S. soil on an American rocket and spacecraft as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
- Demo-2 will be SpaceX’s final test flight to validate its crew transportation system, including the Crew Dragon, Falcon 9, launch pad and operations capabilities. During the mission, the crew and SpaceX mission controllers will verify the performance of the spacecraft’s environmental control system, displays and control system, maneuvering thrusters, autonomous docking capability, and more.
- NASA will allow actor Tom Cruise to shoot for a film in the International Space Station.
- Finally, the mission will conclude with the Crew Dragon undocking from the station, deorbiting and returning Behnken and Hurley to Earth with a safe splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
- SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will take off from the company’s launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- The rocket is called Falcon 9 Block 5. It is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket, and its most expensive parts can be reused. The rocket consists of two stages. It first took flight in 2010.
- Known as Launch Complex 39A, it’s seen launches of the Space Shuttle as well as Saturn V rockets that sent humans to the Moon.
- SpaceX started leasing the complex from NASA in 2014 and transformed the launchpad to support flights of the company’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
- SpaceX conducted a successful test flight of Crew Dragon to the International Space Station(ISS) in 2019 with a sensor laden mannequin onboard named Ripley after the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the “Alien movie.
Bob Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, former military test pilots are to blast off from historic Launch Pad 39A on a two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
- This is the first time NASA astronauts will launch from American soil on a rocket built in the US since the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.Since then, the US Space agency has relied on the Soyuz capsule to ferry it’s astronauts to and fro from the ISS.
NASA’S Commercial Crew Program:
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has worked with several American aerospace industry companies to facilitate the development of U.S. human spaceflight systems since 2010. The goal is to have safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and foster commercial access to other potential low-Earth orbit destinations.
NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX in September 2014 to transport crew to the International Space Station from the United States. These integrated spacecraft, rockets and associated systems will carry up to four astronauts on NASA missions, maintaining a space station crew of seven to maximize time dedicated to scientific research on the orbiting laboratory.