Recently, you might have noticed that all news mediums were filled with information about SpaceX’s first-ever crewed mission, which was named ‘Demo-2’. It consisted of a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket that got lifted on May 30, 2020, intending to reach towards the ISS (International Space Station). The whole rocket-lifting process took place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, which is situated in Florida. As it was a crewed mission, NASA also sent two of its astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on it. Here we have bought all the bits of the SpaceX launch that you might have missed in the vague news article. But before moving on to the information about the mission, let’s first look through SpaceX and its history.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is an aerospace company owned by the famous Elon Musk. Elon is popularly known for his electric vehicle and clean energy company, Tesla, which has also been in the news lately. With the increasing coronavirus pandemic, Elon announced that Tesla would be producing ventilators with its car technology. This news spread like fire and Tesla also showed some of its initial progress of the project.
Let’s come back to SpaceX. The aim of establishing this organization was to enable Mars colonization by reducing the cost of space transportation. One of the most noteworthy achievements of SpaceX are:
- Dragon spacecraft
- liquid-propellant rocket
- An orbital rocket’s propulsive landing
- Reuse of orbital rocket
- Tesla Roadster
There are several other achievements registered in the company’s name. And with the recent Demo-2 launch, SpaceX has again established its name.
SpaceX experienced one of its most tragic accidents in 2016 when a Falcon 9 exploded and caused the company a four-month launch hiatus. However, it came back to operation in 2017 and did some remarkable work after that.
The Latest Launches
Here is the information about the two latest launches of SpaceX that you might have missed.
America made its last crew space launch in 2011. Since then, NASA has been transporting their astronauts to and from the ISS with Russian Soyuz rockets’ help. Not only that made them rely on Russian technology, but it was becoming extensively expensive to the country. However, with the introduction of Crew Dragon spaceship by SpaceX, the country’s space future can change radically.
Crew Dragon is a joint effort from SpaceX and NASA, which makes it the first human spaceflight that is made under a private collaboration. The flight took two NASA’s astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, to the International Space Station that is situated 400 km from Earth. There is nothing exceptional about the tour as it has been executed several times by the US astronauts. Also, there no unique technology used in it. The only thing that makes this launch worthy of the excitement that it is receiving is the fact that it involves SpaceX, a privately owned firm of Elon Musk.
Crew Dragon spaceship was sent into space with the help of SpaceX’s most famous discovery, Falcon 9 rocket. As mentioned above, the launch took place at NASA’s Florida based space centre, which has also been used for the previous space launches of America. The name of the mission, Demo-2, describes that this is a demo mission that will decide the space future of America and SpaceX. That is why this mission plays a crucial role for both of them.
Initially, the launch was planned on a few days earlier than it took place. The delay in it was due to the lousy weather conditions experienced on the day of the launch. However, it is not something to count on regarding the success of the mission. After successfully sending two astronauts to the ISS, the Falcon 9 first stage moved back to the Earth. It aced its landing on SpaceX’s “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship.
With the success of this mission, the two astronauts are supposed to remain at the ISS for 1-4 months duration. Also, it has bought SpaceX one step closer to its original dream of colonization on Mars and Moon.
60 Starlink Satellites
The news does not end here. After the aced landing of Falcon 9 on June 2, SpaceX announced another announcement for the fans on June 3. The firm launched another 60 satellites into the Earth’s orbit, bringing its total count to 482. If you have been following SpaceX for some time, you might already know that it has permission from the FCC, to launch up to 12,000 satellites. But no one knows when the maximum count will be received.
SpaceX claimed that it could offer moderate services after the count reaches a minimum of 800. So the organization still has a long way to go regarding these satellites. Especially when it is already receiving criticism from astronomers. They are accusing that these satellites are blocking the natural view of the sky due to their high reflectivity. However, SpaceX has already been working to resolve the issue as they have included an experimental craft in the batch, which consists of an inbuilt sun visor that will reduce the light’s reflection.
The goal behind creating this network of satellites is to provide internet services to everyone around the globe. And as said, SpaceX will reach a certain level of achievement once it manages to increase the count of satellites to 800.
This was all about the recent two launches of SpaceX, the company owned and ran by Elon Musk. With the achievements that the organization has shown to the people, it is for sure that it will hold some of the significant space events of the future. Out of which, the launch of Crew Dragon can be counted as the start. It will change things for both SpaceX and America, as they will no more have to rely on Russia for their ISS visits. When it comes to the already returned, Falcon 9 first stage, the organization has made no announcements on whether they will reuse it or will keep it as a historical piece of tech. Only time will tell what SpaceX brings for itself and the people with its ever-developing space technology.