‘Let’s light this candle’: NASA resumes human spaceflight from US soil with historic SpaceX launch

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s personal rocket company SpaceX on Saturday launched two Americans from Florida in a landmark mission marking the first spacecraft of NASA astronauts from US soil in nine years.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted from Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 pm. EDT (1922 GMT) launches Dog Hurley and Bob Bacon on a 19-hour ride aboard the company’s newly designed Crew Dragon capsule for the International Space Station.

The Falcon 9 departs from the historic launch complex 39A and sends the crew to orbit the Dragon with NASA astronauts on their first flight to the space station.
The Falcon 9 departs from the historic launch complex 39A and sends the crew to orbit the Dragon with NASA astronauts on their first flight to the space station. (@ NASA / Twitter)

‘SpaceX, we are going to launch. Let’s light this candle, “

Just before liftoff, Hurley said, “SpaceX, we’re going to launch. Let’s light this candle,” seeing the famous comment spoken by Alan Sheppard on the launch pad in 1961, the first American flew into space.

Minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster rocket split from the upper second-stage rocket and flew back to Earth to land safely on the landing platform floating across the Atlantic. Over Earth, the crew dragon later fleeted with a second-stage rocket, sending the capsule on its way to the space station.

The mortal spectacle of the rocket came as a welcome victory for a nation rising innocently in the sky, racially charged civil unrest, as well as fears and economic turmoil triggered by the coronovirus epidemic.


Observations reveal several events that have never been seen at once. (IANS)

Falcon 9 flew in 2011 from the same launch pad, powered by Hurley, NASA’s last space shuttle flight. Since then, NASA astronauts have had to ride in orbit aboard Russia’s Soyuzkraft.

“It’s incredible, power, technology,” said US President Donald Trump, who was at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida for the launch. “It was a beautiful sight to see.”

On Wednesday, the mission’s first launch attempt was called off for less than 17 minutes on the countdown clock. The weather threatened a re-launch on Saturday, but cleared in time to move forward with the mission.

Spaceflight milestones

NASA chief Jim Bridenstein has said that it is the space agency’s top priority to resume the launch of American astronauts on American-made rockets from American soil.

“I’m breathing a sigh of relief, but I’ll also tell you that I’m not going to celebrate until Bob and Doug arrive at the safe house.”

For Musk, the launch represents another milestone for the reusable rockets that his company pioneered to make spaceflight less expensive and more frequent. And it marks the first time commercially developed space vehicles – owned and operated by a private institution instead of NASA – have taken Americans into orbit.

The last time NASA launched astronauts into space on a new vehicle was 40 years ago at the start of the space shuttle program.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Inc., speaks at an unveiling event (Robin Beck-Pool / Getty Images)

The South Africa-born high tech entrepreneur, who made his fortune in Silicon Valley, is also the chief executive of electric car manufacturer and battery maker Tesla Inc. He also founded California-based SpaceX formally known as Space Exploration Technologies. 2002.

Hurley, 53, and Bacon, 49, are expected to remain at the space station for several weeks, under a contract to fly with NASA staff SpaceX, assisting a small hand crew aboard the orbital laboratory Have been.

Boeing hopes to produce its own launch system in competition with SpaceX, flying its CST-100 Starliner vehicle with astronauts for the first time next year. NASA has awarded nearly $ 8 billion for the development of its rival rockets, including SpaceX and Boeing.

Trump saw the launch as a major advance towards the goal of eventually sending humans to Mars. He was joined by Musk as well as Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Florida Congressman Matt Getz, and Senator Rick Scott.

Earlier on Saturday, the crew said goodbye to their families. Before boarding a Tesla automobile designed specifically for the ride to the launch site, Behenken told her young son, “Good for Mom. Make her life easier.” During the drive, Behanken and Hurley passed to former astronaut Garrett Riesman, who signed and said, “Leave me to you.”

Back to top button