LIFTOFF! Regular Missions to the Space Station Have Begun
After a successful trial run earlier this year, a new era begins! On November 15, 2020, at 7:27 PM EST, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission soared into the sky! This is the first crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station, part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
“This is another milestone,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s Administrator. “A critical milestone in the development of our ability to launch American astronauts, on American rockets from American soil, now sustainably. So these are very exciting times.”
SURREAL EXPERIENCE — Just hours before the @NASA @SpaceX Crew-1 mission launch to the @Space_Station, @GarofaloWX asked veteran astronaut @AstroIronMike what might be going through our @NASA_Astronauts heads right now! Take a listen #LaunchAmerica https://t.co/gttq5dwGdp pic.twitter.com/3P7GL7h7MU
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) November 16, 2020
November 2, 2020, was the 20 year anniversary since humans began visiting the Space Station, and NASA did a special podcast to celebrate the milestones and ground-breaking research that has been taking place over the last two decades.
On Nov. 2, 2000, Expedition 1 arrived at the @Space_Station. Our orbiting laboratory has been continuously inhabited ever since: over 240 humans from 19 countries have visited, carrying out over 3,000 @ISS_Research investigations: https://t.co/M79yOYokLt #SpaceStation20th pic.twitter.com/eDyMEszK2t
— NASA (@NASA) November 2, 2020
The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured docked to the International Space Station on July 1, 2020. Courtesy: NASAAt Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, four astonauts will suit up and soar into space on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft named Resilience.
— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) November 2, 2020
“2020 has certainly been a challenging year,” said Astronaut Mike Hopkins, commander of the Crew Dragon and the Crew-1 mission. “The name Resilience is really in honor of the SpaceX and the NASA teams and quite frankly it’s in honor of our families, of our colleagues, of our fellow citizens of our international partners and our leaders that have all shown that same quality, that same characteristics through these difficult times.”
The crew said it’s an opportunity unlike anything they’ve been a part of before.
“To be able to live on the Space Station for 6 months and during that time to be there for the 20th anniversary of human presence on that station, and to potentially launch on the 20th anniversary of the launch of Expedition 1, it’s just special,” said Astronaut Victor Glover, who will be on his first spaceflight as pilot of the Crew Dragon.
Shannon Walker, who has been a NASA Astronaut since 2004, will be heading back to the Space Station as mission specialist for Crew-1. “Since I’ve spent six months on the Space Station before, I am really looking forward to going back there and doing the science and the research that needs to be done.”
According to NASA, the Crew-1 astronauts will spend their time aboard the International Space Station conducting new and exciting scientific research in areas, such as botany, cancer research, and technology including a Space Toilet.
“We get to maximize the utility of microgravity for research and ultimately we are focusing our research for a day when that research becomes applied,” Bridenstine said.
This team will pave the way for future missions with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with investigations to benefit us here on Earth and to provide a foundation for further exploration of the Moon and Mars in years to come.
#CountdownToMars We are just a little over an hour away from the historic @NASAPersevere Mission to Mars, currently a "go" for 7:50 AM ET! Want to learn more about what @NASA plans to accomplish?? @GarofaloWX breaks it all down! #Mars @NASAJPL @ulalaunch @JimBridenstine pic.twitter.com/U1nAYEo4fy
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) July 30, 2020
“We hope that it provides something positive to your lives,” Hopkins said. “And frankly we hope that it’s an inspiration that shows when you work together there is no limit to what you can achieve.”