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ISS launch will be first from US soil in 10 years

Posted on Sunday, 19 April, 2020 | Comment icon 11 comments

The mission will be a major milestone. Image Credit: NASA / SpaceX
For the first time in almost a decade, astronauts are preparing to launch into space from American soil.
Ever since the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down for the final time on July 21st, 2011, NASA has had to rely on the Russian space agency's Soyuz spacecraft to carry astronauts up to the ISS.

Now though, nearly ten years on, it looks as though this arrangement may be finally coming to an end after it was announced that two NASA astronauts will be launching to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on May 27th.

The mission, which will help to cement the country's manned space program well into the future, follows on from a previous successful unmanned test flight of the Crew Dragon capsule last year.

It will be the first time SpaceX has ever launched humans into space.
"We need access to the International Space Station from the United States of America," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "Commercial Crew is the program that's going to make that happen."

"It's essential for our country to have that capability."

Named DEMO-2, the launch will be the final part of the Crew Dragon's testing phase and if all goes according to plan, NASA is expected to officially certify the spacecraft for ongoing operational use.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, making sure that the astronauts do not bring the virus up to the ISS with them will be of the utmost priority.

"We always quarantine all of the astronauts before they go to the International Space Station," said Bridenstine. "Now we're taking even more precautions."

Source: CNBC | Comments (11)

Tags: SpaceX, ISS

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Seti42 on 20 April, 2020, 1:38
Cool! NASA/space science is one of the few things my government does that I am proud of.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Still Waters on 22 May, 2020, 15:28
Comment icon #4 Posted by Still Waters on 22 May, 2020, 15:37
But now I've found this:  
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 22 May, 2020, 18:52
The flight readiness review has concluded. NASA has given the green light to proceed. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Meridian O on 24 May, 2020, 0:54
Disaster = Hurley   
Comment icon #7 Posted by bison on 26 May, 2020, 17:56
The weather for tomorrow's  Crew Dragon launch needs to be favorable, particularly low wind speed, over a wide area of the North Atlantic, from Florida to Ireland. This is because an abort after launch, and splash-down can occur near Florida, Newfoundland, or Ireland. Partly cloudy conditions and wind from 6 to 13 miles per hour over most of that range look favorable.   More concerning is a prediction for 80 % chance of rain, and possible thunderstorms near the Florida launch site.
Comment icon #8 Posted by bison on 27 May, 2020, 17:24
Weather predictions made at 10 a.m. EDT today, put the odds of conditions favorable for the launch of the Crew Dragon mission at 50 percent. If today's  very brief launch window, at 4:33 p.m. EDT is missed, there will be additional opportunities to try again on Saturday, and Sunday afternoons.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Mr.United_Nations on 27 May, 2020, 18:17
Oo  a tornado warning
Comment icon #10 Posted by bison on 27 May, 2020, 18:50
Yes, a tornado warning was issued, just before 2:00 p.m. EDT. The go/no-go determination for today's launch will be made at about 3:48 p.m. EDT, just under an hour from now.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 27 May, 2020, 19:10
Tornado warning has expired but weather is still "red". There are anvil clouds in the area.

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