SpaceX sent four astronauts from the Falcon Rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). This is NASA’s first mission in which a private spacecraft is enlisted to send astronauts to the ISS.
The Falcon rocket flew the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday night carrying three Americans and a Japanese national. This is the second time astronauts have been airlifted from Space X. This ‘Dragon’ capsule vehicle has been named ‘Resilience’ by its crew members, given the challenges faced by the world in 2020.
The vehicle reached its orbit nine minutes after launch. It is expected to reach the space station on Monday and it will remain there till spring. Commander Mike Hopkins said just before launch, “By working together in this difficult time, you have inspired the nation and the world.” This magnificent vehicle has been named Resilience. “
Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX, was forced to monitor it remotely due to the coronavirus being infected. As the capsule reached orbit, people at SpaceX Mission Control, based in California, clapped. The launch would mark the beginning of a long series of alternating crew members between the US and the space station.
Officials said that more people meant more scientific research would take place in the laboratory. US Vice President and National Space Council President Mike Pence, along with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein, witnessed the launch.
Pence said, “My breath stopped for about a minute after its launch.” Passengers flying to the space station include US Air Force colonel and astronaut Mike Hopkins, naval commander and astronaut Victor Glover (who will be the first African-American astronaut to spend the full six months on the space station), physicist Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi is included. Before these four astronauts, two Russian and one American passengers flew for space from Kazakhstan last month.