NASA to launch SpaceX Crew 2

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on World Earth Day (April 22). NASA is to launch the mission along with SpaceX.

About SpaceX Crew 2

  • It is the second crewed operational flight of Crew Dragon Spacecraft.
  • The mission will transport four scientists to the International Space Station.
  • The astronauts to travel to the International Space Station are from NASA, JAXA and ESA. JAXA is Japanese Space Agency and ESA is European Space Agency.

About Crew Dragon

Crew Dragon was the first space vehicle to launch humans from American soil in nine years. It was first launched in May 2020. It was funded through NASA’s commercial Crew Programme. It evolved from an earlier design called Dragon 1. Dragon 1 was launched more than twenty times on missions to deliver cargo  to the International Space Station between 2012 and 2020.

SpaceX Crew 1 was the first time astronauts used a spaceship developed and launched by a private company. Also, it carried back astronauts to the earth.

How does Crew Dragon return to the Earth?

  • It detaches from the International Space Station.
  • The trunk section on the top burns up in the atmosphere.
  • The thrusters then fire for fifteen minutes of de-orbit burn. The De-orbit burn is firing of engines of spacecraft to enable it to re-enter the earth.
  • The temperature of the space craft touches 1,600 degrees Celsius as it re-enters the atmosphere.
  • Parachute deploy from just below the nose cone to angle capsule to cut into the water and reduce impact.

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