SpaceX captures the flag, beating Boeing in cosmic contest

Marcia Dunn, Ap Aerospace Author

Up to date

  • In this image taken from NASA video on Monday, June 1, 2020, NASA astronauts Robert L. Behnken, left, and Chris Cassidy right, listen as commander Douglas Hurley speaks about retrieving the American flag left behind at the International Space Station nearly a decade ago.   (NASA via AP) Photo: AP / NASA

    On this picture taken from NASA video on Monday, June 1, 2020, NASA astronauts Robert L. Behnken, left, and Chris Cassidy proper, hear as commander Douglas Hurley speaks about retrieving the American flag left behind on the Worldwide Area Station almost a decade in the past. (NASA through AP) much less

    On this picture taken from NASA video on Monday, June 1, 2020, NASA astronauts Robert L. Behnken, left, and Chris Cassidy proper, hear as commander Douglas Hurley speaks about retrieving the American flag left … extra

    Photograph: AP

On this picture taken from NASA video on Monday, June 1, 2020, NASA astronauts Robert L. Behnken, left, and Chris Cassidy proper, hear as commander Douglas Hurley speaks about retrieving the American flag left behind on the Worldwide Area Station almost a decade in the past. (NASA through AP) much less

On this picture taken from NASA video on Monday, June 1, 2020, NASA astronauts Robert L. Behnken, left, and Chris Cassidy proper, hear as commander Douglas Hurley speaks about retrieving the American flag left … extra

Photograph: AP

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The primary astronauts launched by SpaceX declared victory Monday in NASA’s cosmic capture-the-flag sport.

They rapidly claimed the prize left behind on the Worldwide Area Station almost a decade in the past by the final crew to launch from the U.S.

“Congratulations, SpaceX, you bought the flag,” NASA astronaut Doug Hurley mentioned a day after arriving on the area station.

Hurley confirmed off the small U.S. flag throughout a information convention and once more in a linkup with SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

“You possibly can guess we’ll take it with us after we depart again to Earth,” mentioned Hurley, floating alongside Dragon crewmate Bob Behnken.

The flag flew on the primary area shuttle flight in 1981 and the ultimate one in 2011. Hurley was on that final shuttle crew.

The flag was an added incentive for Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm and Boeing, competing to be the primary non-public firm to launch a crew to the area station. Saturday’s liftoff of NASA astronauts was the primary from the U.S. in 9 years. Boeing’s first astronaut flight isn’t anticipated till subsequent 12 months. The crew will embody Chris Ferguson, commander of the final shuttle flight who now works for Boeing.

ALSO READ:   Younger and Wholesome and Ready to Get Most cancers

“Proud to yield the title of “The final commander of an American launched spacecraft” to @Astro_Doug who, with @AstroBehnken, has returned US to area from KSC after 3,252 days. Effectively finished,” Ferguson tweeted following the SpaceX liftoff.

An estimated 100,000 individuals — suppliers, distributors, engineers, and many others. — had been chargeable for Saturday’s flawless launch of take a look at pilots Hurley and Behnken aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Area Heart. The Dragon capsule, additionally constructed and owned by SpaceX, docked on the area station Sunday.

“It’s awe-inspiring for all of us,” SpaceX supervisor Benji Reed informed the astronauts from Hawthorne.

Reed requested them concerning the Falcon journey. Hurley mentioned he may really feel when the rocket went transonic and broke the sound barrier. The ultimate push to orbit, on the second stage, was stuffed with vibrations and felt like “driving quick, very quick on a gravel street,” he mentioned. The astronauts immediately went from pulling greater than three G’s — greater than thrice the power of Earth’s gravity — to zero gravity as quickly as they reached orbit.

“Feels like the last word journey in a Batmobile with the jet engine turned on,” Reed mentioned.

Behnken mentioned one of many first issues he did upon reaching the orbiting lab was name his 6-year-old son, Theo, to listen to what’s was like to observe his father blast into area “and share that just a little bit with him whereas it was nonetheless contemporary in his thoughts.”

Hurley and Behnken spent Monday ensuring their docked Dragon is able to make an emergency getaway, if crucial. The capsule will function their lifeboat throughout their area station go to. They joined three station residents — an American and two Russians.

NASA will resolve within the coming weeks how lengthy to maintain the pair there. Their mission may final wherever from one to 4 months. The timing will rely on Dragon checkouts in orbit and launch preparations for the corporate’s subsequent astronaut flight, at the moment focused for the tip of August.

With a lot uncertainty and so many variables, Behnken mentioned it was just a little onerous explaining to his son when he’d again.

ALSO READ:   Podcasts and Isolation Are Peaking in 2020

“From his perspective, he is simply excited that we’ll get a canine after I get house,” Behnken mentioned with a smile.

___

The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Schooling. The AP is solely chargeable for all content material.

. Hurley was on that final shuttle flight.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here