Elon Musk‘s space exploration company has partnered up with NASA to deliver four astronauts to the International Space Station. In a first for space travel, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying the crew into space will have been recycled from a previous trip. Likewise, the iconic SpaceX Falcon 9 booster rocket that will be used for the mission has also flown used before with burn marks from the past launch still visible.
Speaking from the launch site, a CBS reporter Mark Strassman told the news network: “Take a look at the bottom of the rocket.
“That black stuff covering the first stage that is soot which means this rocket has flown before.
“That is not all so has the capsule that the four astronauts will be riding inside.
“It is the first time that both will be reused to fly people.”
He described the Space X launch as another “milestone” for a company that is “revolutionising” space travel.
The astronauts set to ride on the historic launch, dubbed Crew-2, are Americans Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and EuropeanThomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency (ESA).
The crew will man the orbiting research facility known as the International Space Station.
ISS Expedition 65 will relieve the stations current inhabitants who travelled there on Crew-1 last November.
Though, NASA stated: “Their return date and time are dependent on having a healthy spacecraft and favourable weather in the selected splashdown zone.”
Today had originally been earmarked for the launch but poor weather caused the countdown to be delayed with tomorrow morning providing the next opening for the groundbreaking endeavor.
SpaceX will host a live broadcast on its website and YouTube account, and NASA will closely follow the mission on its round-the-clock education streaming on NASA TV.