SpaceX plans to send two astronauts into space this spring
Bob Benken and Doug Hurley may be the first astronauts to fly on
Crew Dragon’s commercial spacecraft this spring, writes Business Insider.
In addition, their flight to Crew Dragon should be the beginning of a new era of space flights for the United States, since it will allow NASA not to rely more on Russian systems.
Note that now one place in both directions costs the Americans about 85 million dollars. At the same time, in Crew Dragon, according to the plan, one place will cost about 55 million dollars.
Previously, Bob Benken and Doug Hurley were military pilots. Hurley spent 24 years in the Marine Corps, and Benken was a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force. Men were taken to NASA in the year 2000, where they quickly became friends. Astronauts have been working together for twenty years.
“Bob and I are very close,” Gurley told The Atlantic reporters. “We spent a lot of time together, and one day I thought,“ Hey, maybe this guy is not so bad. ”
For the flight to the first space mission of a new spacecraft from SpaceX, Doug and Bob were elected in 2018. Since then, they began preparing for the flight.
Astronauts were trained to work with Crew Dragon mechanisms, tried on new spacesuits, met with SpaceX CEO Ilon Musk, and tested the rescue system.
So, during an emergency simulation, in order to evacuate from a spaceship, they had to sit in baskets hitched to a rope.
Americans have not flown into space on an American ship since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. In 2014, NASA entered into contracts with SpaceX and Boeing Co for a total of 6.8 billion so that the United States could again fly to the ISS without buying a place on the Russian Soyuz.
On January 19, 2020, SpaceX tested the emergency separation of the Crew Dragon manned spacecraft from the Falcon 9 booster vehicle. The ship, after commanding the emergency separation from the rocket, launched eight reserve engines that took it to a safe distance.
Falcon 9 during the tests specifically blew up. Then parachuting Crew Dragon splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.