- September 17, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – SpaceX launches four civilians into orbit on historic Inspiration4 flight
- SpaceX made history tonight as it launched a crew of private citizens on a jaunt around Earth. For an added bonus, the rocket landed on its drone ship, marking the company’s 92nd booster recovery.
- A four-person crew was strapped inside a Crew Dragon spacecraft which sat perched atop a slightly sooty 229-feet-tall (70 meters) Falcon 9 rocket.
- The Falcon 9 lit up the sky, turning night into day and it climbed through the atmosphere on a pillar of flames and smoke. The rumble from its engines even set off car alarms at the viewing area.
- The vehicle is designed to be fully autonomous, so Proctor and the rest of the crew ideally won’t actually be doing any piloting, that responsibility will rest with SpaceX crews here on the ground.
- Crew Dragon was selected by NASA (along with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft) to serve as the agency’s means of transporting astronauts to and from space. Previously the agency relied on Russia and its Soyuz spacecraft following the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. But now, the agency has options and hopes to have a Russian Cosmonaut fly on a Dragon soon.
- Following its development and testing, two NASA astronauts — Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — climbed on board and flew Dragon to the International Space Station for the first time in May 2020. That mission, called Demo-2, paved the way for NASA to being regular astronaut flights to the orbital outpost.
- The Dragon used in this mission, named Resilience by the Crew-1 astronauts, will carry the Inspiration4 crew on a higher-than-normal trajectory. They will travel to an altitude of 357 miles (575 km) above the Earth, which is actually higher than both the space station and the Hubble Space Telescope. But it’s not the farthest that humans will have traveled since the Apollo moon landings — the crew of the space shuttle mission STS-82 actually flew a little higher when they went to service Hubble in 1997.
- When the Dragon separated from the Falcon 9 about 12 minutes after liftoff, it marked the first time that three different Dragon spacecraft were in orbit at the same time. (The other two, Crew Dragon Endeavour and a cargo Dragon spacecraft, are currently docked with the space station.)