Update: Launch canceled due to weather
Everybody knows who NASA are and pretty much what they are about, right? Good. However, SpaceX may be unfamiliar to some. So, let’s have a quick look. SpaceX is owned by the enigmatic entrepreneur Elon Musk. The guy who brought you Tesla, the front runner in the electric vehicle industry. Musk is fast becoming the worlds greatest pioneer in future tech.
SpaceX has set some very ambitious and exciting goals. Musk’s vision is to send humans to Mars within a decade. The ultimate goal being the colonisation of Mars. SpaceX are also well progressed with the Starlink project. This project is sending a huge constellation of satellites to orbit our planet to provide blazing fast broadband to literally every corner of the Earth. The Starlink project is covered in more detail by Paul Harding’s article The Latest SpaceX News – Satellite Internet by SpaceX Starlink written for TechLater.
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”Elon Musk
The Historic Launch
SpaceX and NASA have scheduled the manned mission to the International Space Station for Wednesday May 27. Why is this a historic launch? After all we have been into space plenty of times before. Well this is first ever private company manned space mission. SpaceX look like they are going to beat competitors such as Virgin Galactic over the first historic hurdle in this new age space race. In addition to that, this will be the first manned launch from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida in 9 years. There have been no manned launches from Florida since the shuttle project was closed in 2011. Until now if you were wanting to nip into space you would have to do it via a Russian shuttle launching from Kasakhstan.
The Brave Trailblazers
These are the two brave chaps who agreed to strap themselves to a tube of highly combustible rocket fuel and be propelled into space.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. Not quite as described above, the two astronauts will take their seat in SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. This spacecraft will sit on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Falcon 9 is the first ever orbital capable rocket that can be reused. Rocket reflight is a major breakthrough for SpaceX in their pursuit of a sustainable space flight programme. Hurley is a former marine and fighter pilot. Behnken was an Air Force Colonel. They will be fired at face melting speeds and bone crushing G’s toward the ISS. There they will join solo American astronaut Chris Cassidy. Cassidy emailed Hurley recently with this nugget of inspiration saying “he’s looking forward to seeing their ugly mugs on board”.
“We feel it as an opportunity but also a responsibility for the American people, for the SpaceX team, for all of NASA,”Bob Behnken
Watch The Launch Live
Nasa will have their own live stream running.
Additionally, The National Geographic Channel will air a special “Launch America: Mission to Space Live,”. This 2 hour special will run from 3pm Eastern on May 27. The National Geographic website will also feature a live stream of the launch. Additional coverage will also be streamed from ABC News Live.
This post was edited May 25th 2020 due to some inaccuracies.
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