another victory for SpaceX and Nasa : the two astronauts transported by the capsule Crew Dragon have made their entry into the international space Station Sunday, may 31, three hours after having moored. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, best friends and former military pilots, were then welcomed by the current inhabitants of the station, their fellow american Chris Cassidy and two astronauts Russian.
" The entire world has followed this mission and we are so, so proud of everything you have done for our country and, in fact, to inspire the world ", praised from the Earth the head of Nasa, Jim Bridenstine, just after their arrival. "It was an honor to be a part of this effort, nine years since the last time an american vehicle has docked to the international space station," said Doug Hurley, age 53, after docking successfully.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who took off on a rocket Falcon 9 the day before from Florida, are the first astronauts to reach the ISS, 400 kilometers from the Earth, through a vehicle of a private company. The capsule Crew Dragon has docked with the ISS at 16: 16, a few minutes ahead of the scheduled time, after about nineteen hours of travel. The hatch between Dragon and the space Station was then to be depressurized before the hatch of the capsule is opened.
also Read Conquest of space : 9 famous countdown in the cinema
SpaceX has promised to send four astronauts on the ISS
SpaceX was bringing already of cargo to the ISS since 2012, but this is the first time that Nasa entrusts him with its most valuable resource : their astronauts. "The launch today shows that the future belongs to the space industry-private ", on Saturday said Donald Trump, who has assisted in person at the take-off of the rocket from the Kennedy space center. The american president did applaud the founder of SpaceX, which has shown to be very moved at the conference that followed the launch. "I find it hard to talk, it's been eighteen years that we were working with this goal. I find it hard to believe that it happened, " said Elon Musk.
Read also Nasa is losing its head of human spaceflight to a few days of the mission is SpaceX
A new taxi space
For this visionary entrepreneur, obsessed by the red planet, this is" a first step in our journey to establish a civilization on Mars, "and make humanity a" species multiplanetary ". The former start-up has beaten Boeing, the group also commissioned by Nasa to send future astronauts to the ISS, but the capsule Starliner missed the test flight to empty the last year. The changing weather had failed to threaten a second time the launch of Falcon 9 on Saturday, so that risk of lightning strikes had already forced the postponement Wednesday.
The rocket, built near Los Angeles has finally lifted off without a problem in a very blue sky, at 15: 22 (21 h 22 in France), under the eyes of tens of thousands of people living along the beaches of the area. The ascent hypersonic was broadcast live by cameras inside the capsule Crew Dragon and, once quiet in orbit, the two astronauts were treated to a guided tour, doing somersaults in zero gravity.