Historic SpaceX launch ‘marks a big milestone’: Former NASA astronaut

Historic SpaceX launch 'marks a big milestone': Former NASA astronaut

Historic SpaceX launch ‘marks a big milestone’: Former NASA astronaut

Arthel: the first fully-crewed flight to the international space station has been pushed from tonight to tomorrow because of win duh conditions. The lawn — windy conditions. The launch is seen as cementing america’s return to manned space flight with a diverse crew including japanese, african-american and female astronauts. Here to talk about it is former nasa

astronaut the tom jones. Exciting, exciting. Quite the impressive crew. Their ride to space is the resilience crew dragon spacecraft. After launch, it’ll take them eight and a half minutes to get to the office. Tell us more about the mission, the

work that lies ahead, and how long will it take to get the job done?  well, arthel, this is a trip for six months to the international space station. Usually, since 2011 we’ve been hauling our people back and forth on the russian soyuz rockets, so here we’re finally going to completely commercial nasa-sponsored service to the space station not relying on

the russians anymore. So this operational flight of the crew dragon with these four astronauts going to the space station marks a big milestone. As you said, resuming united states launch activity. And it’s an important capability for us to be out from under the russian monopoly. The crew goes up for six months, they dog their crew drag done — dock their crew

dragon spas station, it will stay with them x they’ll join two russians and an american who are up there. For the next six months, we’ll have seven people onboarding boosting the science capability of this space station. Arthel: there was an engine abort during a launch in october. I understand the problem has been fixed since, and there has been an unpiloted

test launch that happened, i think, nine days ago. Tell us more about the issue and how involved was it to fix it, do you know?  i do. Nasa and spacex collaborated on finding out the cause of the pad abort, the aborted launch back in october. There are nine first stage engines called merlin engines on the first stage, and a couple of them had contamination, a flaky

coating that peeled off some of the pipping and obstructed a relief valve. Well, they tracked down that contamination and removed a couple of engines on the flight that’s going to take place tomorrow with the astronauts and made sure those engines were up to snuff. And then to add confidence, there was an unmanned satellite launch of a falcon 9 that was successful in early november, and then just last wednesday they fired up all nine engines on the crew transport rocket to

make sure that those engines could crank up normally, and all the signatures of the start-up were normal, and now that rocket’s ready to go tomorrow. Arthel: very good. Well, we have to say this is very crucial for the american space flight to be independent of russian space flight. Do you expect more trips like in the future? Like this in the futuresome.  there’s a

whole sequence both on spacex in 2021 and soon boeing will have the starliner in service as well, probably next summer sometime. So we’ll have two ways to get independently to the space station in cause one of those goes down, we have the redun dancy there. And by having seven people onboard, we will have more science productivity out of the space station

crew. And when you add one extra person, you can work 40 hours a week, essentially, on science while the other folks have to do maintenance as well as science. We get a big boost in product it in the remaining ten years’ lifetime of the space station. Arthel: very exciting, it is for me. I know it is for you, tom jones.  yeah. I wish i was there to watch it tomorrow.

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