NASA, SpaceX Crew Dragon: After a delay of a few days, SpaceX launched two astronauts to the International Space Station on May 30. The rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX lifted off on May 30 at 3:22 p.m (1.50 am Sunday in India) from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule into orbit. It is the same launch pad, that was used during the Apollo mission to the moon a half-century ago.
SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission docks with the International Space Station at 10:16 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) around 15 minutes ahead of the schedule. The mission was initially supposed to be launched on May 27 but was delayed due to poor weather conditions at the last minute.
The mission ‘historic’ because this is the first-ever time that a private spacecraft company — Space X — used its own rocket to put humans into space. Both NASA and SpaceX urged eager viewers to stay at home and not to flock towards the Kennedy Space Center at any time due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center carrying SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule into orbit on May 30. President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence were present to witness the historic launch.
It was a 19-hour journey for the two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to the International Space Station. Both are supposed to be there for one and four months working.
The astronauts have named the commercial spacecraft after one of the retired winged orbiters — ‘Endeavour’. Both Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken revealed the name of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule at the time of the live broadcast from Earth orbit — early around 3.5 hours after lifting off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
“I know most of you, at SpaceX especially, know it as ‘Capsule 206,’ but I think all of us thought that maybe we could do a little bit better than that,” Hurley said during the live broadcast. “Without further ado, we would like to welcome you aboard capsule ‘Endeavour’,” he added.
Hurley explained that there are two reasons behind choosing the name Endeavour.
1) First reason why the crew chose the name Endeavour is “because of this incredible endeavor [that] NASA, SpaceX and the United States has been on since the end of the space shuttle program back in 2011,” Hurley said.
2) Stating the second reason he said, “we named it ‘Endeavour’ is a little more personal for Bob and I. We both had our first flights on shuttle Endeavour, and it just meant so much to us to carry on that name. So that is what we decided to go with.”
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