A Historic Launch for NASA and Humanity
SpaceX is all set to launch astronauts to the international space station on 30th may. Its originally scheduled launch on 27th may was postponed due to cloudy weather. It’s the first-time humans will be launched into space not by government agency but a private space agency- SpaceX. It’s the first manned flight from American soil in 9 years since the grounding of the space shuttle program in 2011.
The New Space Race- Private Companies
Till the early 2000’s, space was considered to be the domain of government agencies but entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have brought the private companies into action. Elon Musk came up with Spacex, Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin and Sir Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic. This has started a new space race not between government agencies but between private companies.
The Countdown Begins…..Again
Now, the crew dragon module is set to carry NASA astronauts Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley atop a falcon 9 rocket. The rocket is launching from the historic Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida on 30th may , Saturday at 3:22 pm EDT (12:52 am IST Sunday). Unlike the age old designs of the Apollo 11 or the Soyuz, crew dragon has a much more modular design with touch screen for control and contact rather than buttons spread across the control module. Its much more comfortable for the astronauts and user friendly. The launch also costs much less than a conventional launch due to the reusability factor of falcon 9. A falcon 9 launch costs a little under 60 million USD. Compare that to NASA’s launching costs, ranging from a few hundred million USD to a few Billion USD!
If successful it will be a historic moment for the space exploration industry and will pave way for the Starship (Spacex) and other future Mars missions.