SpaceX Has Put The US Back in the Space Business

Issue 30

08.03.20 - The first trip to orbit by a private company landed to a safe conclusion in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. It was the first landing in water by NASA astronauts since 1975, when NASA’s crews were still using Apollo modules for flying into orbit like during the historic moon missions of the 20th century.

Two NASA astronauts — Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley — splashed down somewhere near Pensacola, Fla., in the Gulf on Sunday afternoon in a capsule designed and operated by SpaceX. The Crew Dragon capsule, hovering under four giant orange-and-white parachutes, landed into the water at 2:48 p.m. Eastern time.

“On behalf of the SpaceX and NASA teams, welcome back to planet Earth,” Michael Heiman, the SpaceX engineer communicating with the astronauts, said after splashdown. “And thanks for flying SpaceX.”
Shortly after, Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley were helped out of the spacecraft, and Mr. Hurley thanked the employees and staff of NASA and SpaceX who assisted in making the mission an overwhelming success and keeping them safe.

Although NASA was the first customer of SpaceX, this could result in more space activity for a variety of different reasons and customers. Many have suggested the ideas of sightseeing, satellite repair and research as a potential use for SpaceX. A goal of the space agency is to turn over to private enterprise some things it used to do.


Source: New York Times