Demo-2 marks the first launch of NASA astronauts on an commercial spacecraft and the first launch of American astronauts into orbit on a U.S.-built vehicle from America since 2011 (Space.com, 2020)
Space is no longer the last frontier. And this week´s trip to the International Space Station marks the beginning of a new way of traveling out of Earth´s atmosphere, where private companies and not governments, put together a strong team of experts to continue exploring outer space.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will pilot the 19-hour journey aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule towards the ISS, where they will live between one and four months. Liftoff is set for 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT) from NASA's Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center. The Demo-2 flight will be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft will carry humans to the space station, after almost 10 years of NASA and other national space agencies relying on the Russian Soyuz capsules launched from Kazakhstan.
SpaceX-s Crew Dragon tested its first mission to the ISS in March 2019. And since 2012, the Dragon cargo spacecraft has been carrying goods to the station under a commercial agreement between the private company and NASA. This week´s accomplishment started with Elon Musk´s proposal to NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration program, which was accepted in 2006 and received an initial $278 million in funding from the space agency.
For more information on how to watch this event later on today, here is a link of the Space.com magazine, where it´s possible to find pictures, videos and related publications.
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