Technology: SpaceX ready to launch two NASA astronauts into space

SpaceX flight: US astronauts take off for the ISS

 SpaceX flight: US astronauts take off for the ISS © provided by Euronews After a break of around nine years, astronauts are expected to make their way to the ISS from the United States for the first time. The launch is scheduled for Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Space Center in Florida. The US space travelers Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will then fly to the ISS with a space capsule "Crew Dragon" developed by the private space company SpaceX. Around a day after launch, it will then dock with the International Space Station.

La fusée «Falcon 9» de SpaceX, avec le vaisseau «Crew Dragon», se prépare au lancement de deux astronautes de la Nasa ce 27 mai 2020 depuis la base de Cap Canaveral. © JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP SpaceX's "Falcon 9" rocket, with the "Crew Dragon" spacecraft, is preparing for launch of two NASA astronauts this May 27, 2020 from the base of Cape Canaveral.

American space will experience a historic moment. Weather permitting, this Wednesday, May 27 at 4:33 p.m. Cape Canaveral Florida time (8:33 p.m. universal time), two American astronauts will fly into space in an American spacecraft and from American soil. It hadn't happened in nine years. The manufacturer SpaceX is on the maneuver for this test trip of the Crew Dragon capsule which will take the two passengers to the International Space Station.

SpaceX: for fear of lightning, the first manned flight postponed to Saturday

 SpaceX: for fear of lightning, the first manned flight postponed to Saturday The decision was announced 17 minutes before the scheduled takeoff time in Florida © AFP Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken head for the rocket Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral, May 27, 2020. After a day of suspense, the first manned flight of the American company SpaceX was postponed from Wednesday to Saturday due to bad weather, when two NASA astronauts were already installed in the capsule at the top of the rocket which was to launch them towards the International Space Station.

With SpaceX, welcome to science fiction. The launch promises to be historic, conceived as a blockbuster, filmed and broadcast live. It will be the first time that a private company has launched astronauts into orbit.

Reusable capsule, touchscreen controls, everything is modern and shiny inside the Crew Dragon, a vessel that can accommodate up to 7 passengers. There will take place Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, two astronauts seasoned in space travel.

Because their mission promises to be perilous, underlines Alexis Bédu of the Sciences department of RFI. Their goal: to join the International Space Station (ISS) to which they will dock after only seventeen hours of flight and where they will stay for at least a month.

Possible “crew loss”

SpaceX manned flight, second attempt to launch on Saturday

 SpaceX manned flight, second attempt to launch on Saturday NASA and SpaceX boss Elon Musk confirmed on Saturday morning that the weather, although uncertain, would not stop preparations for a takeoff at 3:22 p.m. (7:22 p.m. GMT) Kennedy Space Center, on the Atlantic coast in Florida, under the eyes of President Donald Trump. © REUTERS / Steve Nesius SpaceX SpaceX will attempt on Saturday to launch into space two NASA astronauts, after an attempt stopped at the last minute Wednesday for fear of lightning.

After launching, once in orbit, the two astronauts will test the control system of the Crew Dragon. They will also monitor the capsule approach to the ISS, which should, if everything works as planned, be done completely independently.

Even if the spacecraft proved itself last March during an initial empty demonstration flight, the journey remains dangerous. According to NASA, the calculated probability of "losing a crew" is one in 276 times.

The weather forecast is currently unfavorable with the risk of bad weather this Wednesday evening. The launch could be postponed to this Saturday, next launch window.

The dream of the eccentric Elon Musk

This historic launch is also the culmination of a dream, said Eric de Salve, our correspondent in San Francisco. That of one of the most eccentric figures in Silicon Valley: the billionaire of South African origin Elon Musk.

"Open your eyes and look to the sky", tweets Elon Musk. Up there, 400 km from the earth, his completely crazy spatial vision becomes reality.

Human Spaceflight SpaceX: a second attempt to launch this Saturday

 Human Spaceflight SpaceX: a second attempt to launch this Saturday Your browser does not support this video The mission is crucial: the first human spaceflight from the United States in nine years, and the first entrusted to a private company. SpaceX will attempt on Saturday May 30 to launch two NASA astronauts into space, after an attempt stopped at the last minute Wednesday for fear of lightning. The mission is crucial: the first manned flight from the United States in nine years, and the first entrusted to a private company.

This first manned flight in space operated by a private company, his own, nobody believed in it 18 years ago. It was in 2002: the impetuous genius of Silicon Valley launched SpaceX, the most spectacular of its eccentricities, after having made a fortune with the resale of PayPal.

SpaceX was then only a start-up of 10 employees "who did not really know how to make rockets. I couldn't recruit anyone, "said Elon Musk later.

To listen to: Elon Musk, the visionary and rowdy boss

Contract with NASA

Today, SpaceX has 8,000 employees, including many former NASA employees. The American space agency also became its first client in 2006 with the signing of a contract to supply the International Space Station. "For the first time, NASA does not have a private vessel manufacture a vessel it owns and controls," explains Jean-François Clervoix, astronaut from the European Space Agency, at the microphone of RFI . She just buys a transportation service. But it is SpaceX which remains the owner and which will control the ship from its control center.

The first three launches are failures, but everything changes in 2008 with the fourth. This is the first successful flight that saves SpaceX from the sinking. "Fortune smiled on us that day," recalls Elon Musk. Otherwise, we would have shut down.

Canada's Bob and Doug take off — eh! — on social media with SpaceX rocket launch

  Canada's Bob and Doug take off — eh! — on social media with SpaceX rocket launch Some people on social media say Saturday's SpaceX rocket launch is a beauty for Canada, eh! On Saturday, the rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk's SpaceX company lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. to fly to the International Space Station with two Americans on board: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. On Saturday, the rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk's SpaceX company lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. to fly to the International Space Station with two Americans on board: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

In 2013, its low-cost launcher successfully launched an satellite 30% cheaper than the historic players , which are now increasingly behind. "SpaceX has already pre-sold a Japanese flying around the Moon in the coming years," recalls Jean-François Clervoix. But with SpaceX, the American of South African origin has never hidden his real ambition: the one day colonization of the planet Mars .

Read also: Launch of the “Falcon Heavy” rocket, the almost perfect shot of SpaceX

NASA is reorienting itself towards the Moon

This Wednesday, Donald Trump will also be present at takeoff from the SpaceX spacecraft. Because the issue is important for America: the country can return to its strategic independence in space. "Since the shuttle flights stopped in 2011, the United States has depended on Russia, and in particular on its Soyuz spacecraft," explains Xavier Pasco, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS). It was millions of dollars falling every time because the Americans were "paying their tickets" to the space station. It is the end of a parenthesis.

Another strategic turning point: "The space station is no longer a long-term objective for the United States," analyzes Xavier Pasco. NASA completely delegates transport to the ISS to a private player and has reoriented itself towards the Moon. A decision made under this Trump administration. This new distribution of roles is historic. »

Read also: Donald Trump launches military command of space

SpaceX: New round of financing to bring the rocket maker up to $ 1 billion .
© SpaceX The Falcon 1 from SpaceX was the first private launch vehicle. SpaceX plans to raise up to $ 1 billion in a new round of financing. Elon Musk's private space company is expected to be valued at $ 44 billion. SpaceX plans to raise between $ 500 million and $ 1 billion from investors as part of a Series N financing round. Corresponding documents should be available to the US broadcaster CNBC . The space company is valued at $ 44 billion.

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