SpaceX launches astronauts for the first time on a used rocket (bearing the crew initials written in soot from the previous flight)

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picture: SpaceX

Pictured, we see the four astronauts from SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission who, at the time of writing, are orbiting Earth aboard the Dragon “Endeavor” spacecraft with the goal of docking with the International Space Station.

Thomas Pesquet (ESA), Shane Kimbro (NASA), Akihiko Hoshid (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Megan MacArthur (also NASA) wrote their initials on the Falcon 9 rocket he picked up today. Them in space. His fingers are smeared with soot from a previous trip, which is a fact of great importance.

This is the first time that SpaceX has launched a crew of astronauts into space with a used rocket. The B1061 missile flew on the Crew-1 mission, which led to another four people To the International Space Station aboard the Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft. The four astronauts, plus the Resilience spacecraft, are still on the International Space Station, and they will coexist with the Crew-2 mission crew before returning to Earth.

Now NASA Allow SpaceX Choose the propellants you use to launch astronauts on commercial crew program missions. Only if they have traveled more than once, an additional certificate will be required.

The enhanced B1061 vehicle, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that carried the four astronauts from the Crew-2 mission into space, successfully landed on the autonomous battleship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean after launch. The manned Dragon ship is planned to be returned to space on September 15, 2021 for the Special mission Inspiration 4.

As for the Endeavor, in which Thomas Pesquet, Shane Kimbro, Akihiko Hoshide and Megan MacArthur fly today, is also used. May 31, 2020 was used for the mission Dragon Demo Crew 2In which SpaceX first launched astronauts, and made history.

The four crew members on the Crew-2 mission will spend six months in space. The Endeavor spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on Saturday at 9:10 UTC, 24 hours after launch.

SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission crew

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  • Shane Kimbro from NASA. He is 53 years old and is the captain of Crew-2. He made two previous space missions, the first aboard the space shuttle Endeavor in 2008. He then spent more than six months on the International Space Station, from October 2016 to April 2017.
  • K.Megan MacArthur, NASA. She is 49 years old and is a mission pilot. She made a previous flight aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis in May 2009 for the most recent mission to restore and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. During that mission, MacArthur, an oceanographer by training, operated the shuttle’s robotic arm to capture the telescope and place it in the cargo compartment. She is married to Bob Behnken, one of the two astronauts who traveled on SpaceX’s maiden manned flight last year in the same capsule as the Crew-2 mission. She sits in the same seat that her husband used to occupy.
  • Thomas Pesquet, the first astronaut from the European Space Agency to fly with SpaceX. The 43-year-old has already spent six months on the International Space Station, between November 2016 and June 2017, in conjunction with Kimbrough for most of his stay. It is French.
  • Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He is 52 years old and has made two previous trips into space. He was part of the space shuttle Discovery crew in 2008. In 2012 he spent four months on the International Space Station.

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