What occurred and why it mattered
In mid-2020, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley made history by changing into the primary astronauts to trip a commercially operated spacecraft to the International Space Station and again. The mission ended a 9-year drought for crewed U.S. orbital spaceflight.
Behnken and Hurley’s 2-month take a look at mission demonstrated that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon car was prepared for long-duration crew rotation flights as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The primary such flight, Crew-1, launched four astronauts to the station: NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Company astronaut Soichi Noguchi. The crew will keep aboard for six months.
The 4 fliers joined NASA’s Kate Rubins and Russian astronauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, who arrived on the station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in October. This maxed out the station’s crew complement at 7, which was beforehand not doable because the Russian Soyuz spacecraft can solely carry three individuals at a time.
Extra crew members means NASA and its worldwide companions can higher make the most of the ISS. Astronauts aboard the station conduct analysis that helps us be taught in regards to the results of long-term spaceflight on the human physique, and take a look at applied sciences that shall be wanted for human exploration missions past low-Earth orbit.