China News Agency, Houston, November 17th. At 11 p.m. Eastern Time on November 16, the manned “Dragon” spacecraft of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) arrived at the International Space Station. After more than two hours of in-cabin pressure testing, the four astronauts of this mission entered the International Space Station at 1:40 am Eastern Time on November 17th. This is SpaceX’s first commercial manned mission (Crew-1) for NASA.
According to foreign media reports, at about 11 p.m. Eastern Time on the 16th, after 27 hours of flight, the SpaceX “Dragon” spacecraft carrying 4 astronauts completed docking with the International Space Station. The picture shows the spacecraft approaching the International Space Station.
According to the Associated Press, at 7:27 pm Eastern time on November 15, the “Falcon 9” rocket was launched from the Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39 in Florida, and it will manned the “Dragon” spacecraft. The four astronauts on board were sent into orbit. After 27 hours of flight, the spacecraft completed docking with the International Space Station. After more than two hours of pressure balance and testing in the cabin, the astronauts wearing red Polo shirts entered the International Space Station.
According to the “New York Times” report, this is the manned “Dragon” spacecraft after successfully completing its first manned flight test mission (Demo-2) in August this year, and officially began to perform regular commercial manned missions. The manned “Dragon” spacecraft is the first manned spacecraft built by a private company in the United States to transport astronauts to and from the space station. It is also the first new type of spacecraft certified by NASA to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station after the U.S. Space Shuttle was retired. manned spacecraft.
The four astronauts performing this mission are astronauts Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, Victor Glowell from NASA, and astronaut Satoshi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. .
After entering the International Space Station, they held a brief welcome ceremony with the three astronauts stationed on the space station. They will stay on the space station for six months, until SpaceX’s next commercial manned spacecraft will transport astronauts to take over. It is expected that the next round of manned missions will be carried out in April 2021.
The science and technology website “Space” stated that for the first time after 4 astronauts enter the International Space Station, 7 will be stationed at the same time. Previously, the space station had a maximum of 6 people stationed at the same time. This means there is a shortage of a bed in the station. The commander of this mission, Hopkins, recently stated that he will temporarily sleep in the manned “Dragon” spacecraft.
The manned “Dragon” spacecraft is a capsule-shaped space capsule. It is about the same size as the American “Apollo” manned spacecraft that served in the 1960s and 1970s.
It is worth mentioning that after the U.S. space shuttle was retired in 2011, the United States purchased spacecraft seats from Russia to transport American astronauts to and from the International Space Station. In 2014, SpaceX and Boeing won contracts totaling US$6.8 billion from NASA for the construction of manned “Dragon” spacecraft and “Interplanetary” manned spacecraft, respectively. Boeing expects the first flight test mission of the “Interplanetary Airliner” to be carried out before the summer of 2021.