Astronauts will be taken to the International Space Station
Cape Canaveral, Florida— For the first time, NASA used recovered SpaceX rockets and capsules to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.
Astronaut Megan McArthur (Megan McArthur) particularly liked the idea of recycling the spacecraft that took off on Thursday morning. In an “interesting twist,” she will sit on the same seat in the space capsule with her husband, Bob Behneken, for a test flight last year.
He said in a recent interview with the Associated Press: “This is the fun we can share.”
MacArthur said that her 7-year-old son Theo was “not super excited” by the fact that his mother is about to leave for six months. This is the time she and her three crew will spend on the space station.
This will be SpaceX’s third manned flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida to NASA in less than a year. Commercial flights ended the United States’ dependence on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan to transport astronauts after the space shuttle evacuated.
SpaceX’s Benji Reed said on Tuesday that the company has placed six people in space, the same number as when NASA’s Mercury program launched the first American astronauts in the 1960s. The next flight will bring the total to 10.
For Thursday’s SpaceX flight, both the “Dragon” capsule and the “Falcon” rocket have flown before. The capsule carried the first SpaceX crew in May 2020, and the rocket launched the second batch of astronauts still at the station.
Reid said that for SpaceX, recycling is the key to space exploration because it can reduce costs, increase flights and destinations, and allow more types of people to board. Each capsule is designed to be launched with the crew at least five times. SpaceX and NASA are evaluating how many times the Falcon can safely launch astronauts. For satellites, the rocket can be used for 10 flights. The company uses the same type of rockets and similar space capsules to perform replenishment missions to the station and recover them.