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SpaceX & NASA Launch U.S. Astronauts To Space | TIME

Jun 01, 2021
i feel the tension here in cape canaveral sending

astronauts

to

space

is much more fun than not sending

astronauts

to

space

t-minus a minute and counting and

nasa

should know ignition for decades the country that took six astronaut crews to the surface of The moon was the undisputed leader among space-capable nations, but since 2011, after the last of the large American space shuttles flew, the United States has been completely unable to

launch

its own astronauts aboard its own rockets from its own soil for the last

time

. Instead, we have become a grounded nation. a humble nation reduced to hitchhiking aboard the Russian soyuz rocket for $80 million a seat that all changes now when a

spacex

falcon 9 rocket and a manned dragon spacecraft leave the

launch

pad at cape canaveral carrying astronauts bob benkin and doug hurley on may 27 a new chapter in space travel will begin the launch ushers in the era of commercial human flight a great democratization of the space game with private companies designing and building brilliant 21st century rockets using technology of the 21st century and selling its services to NASA leaving the free space agency to focus on its long-term dreams of sending astronauts to the moon and Mars

spacex

is not the only company that will be part of this great new company and that is in ready to fly soon is boeing's starliner spacecraft, which will collaborate with spacex to get crews to and from the international space station. it is only fitting that the next launch takes place from pad 39a at cape canaveral, the same pad from which apollo 11 was launched, bringing the first human crew to the surface of the moon just as a new era began. so it's also a start now the United States, once on the ground, will fly again this afternoon as we broadcast live from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
spacex nasa launch u s astronauts to space time
I'm Jeffrey Kluger at Time magazine headquarters in New York. Nine years have passed since the final flight from final space. shuttle, meaning it has been nine years since the United States has had the ability to launch its own astronauts aboard its own rockets from its own soil. It's the longest the United States has been on the ground since Alan Shepard became the first American in space 59 years ago this month. At that

time

, the United States launched six one-person Mercury missions, ten two-person Gemini missions, 15 three-person Apollo missions, and 135 space shuttle missions. Each of those spacecraft had something in common that they don't have in common with today's flight.
spacex nasa launch u s astronauts to space time

More Interesting Facts About,

spacex nasa launch u s astronauts to space time...

They were effectively designed by NASA and then custom built by a company it hired to do the work. The Spacex Crew Dragon vehicle that will carry astronauts Bob Benkin and Doug Hurley into space today will be the first privately designed and built rocket and spacecraft to fly. Human crew history will be made by the mere fact that the United States is getting back into the space game and more history will be made by the fact that that feat will be accomplished in such a different way that we have what is known as a window of instant release on uh. cape canaveral today and what that means is that when this rocket takes off this rocket can take off at 322 period it cannot take off at 322 and a half it cannot take off at 3 22 and a third that is because it has to meet the international space station that is Currently in an orbit with an inclination of 51.6 degrees toward the equator, which is a pretty high inclination at 250 miles altitude, the spacecraft will be launched from a completely different orientation, basically, that means 19 hours of chasing the space station before the crew reaches it, it will take just 12 minutes to reach space, it will take almost a full day before the crew actually docks.
spacex nasa launch u s astronauts to space time
Bad weather wiped out the launch last week or Wednesday and there's only so much you can do. wrong when it comes to weather

nasa

has a whole host of rules that dictate when the spacecraft will be on the ground doesn't launch within 10 nautical miles of an attached storm doesn't launch within three nautical miles of debris clouds of the storm don't launch within five miles of disturbed weather conditions don't launch within 10 miles of cumulus clouds there is rule after rule after rule meant to keep crews safe now this doesn't mean people haven't launched in dangerous conditions before they have to the crew of Apollo 12 which was launched in November 1969, was actually struck by lightning just a minute after leaving the pad, which caused the entire electrical system to go offline, so it was a warning that the shuttle, the shuttle challenger, was, of course, America's big plane. tragedy in 1986 when the Challenger exploded during takeoff and a lot had to do with flying in cold weather when the O-rings sealing the solid fuel in the solid fuel boosters on both sides of the spacecraft became brittle and burned causing The explosion. that claimed the lives of the crew, so weather is a critical issue on any launch and will be a critical issue on today's launch.
spacex nasa launch u s astronauts to space time
As disappointing as it was on Wednesday when the spacecraft didn't launch on time, we have to be prepared for potential disappointment again today. is paramount in a launch like this, especially in a first test of a first spacecraft with a first new crew flying abroad b and doug hurley will wear a whole new generation of spacesuits today, the suits that were designed with art, actually They were designed. partly by a Hollywood costume designer, José Fernández, who designed some of the costumes for Batman v Superman and the Avengers. Fernandez told the press that Elon Musk, the head of Spacex, said a quote when people put on this spacesuit, I love you. to look better than without it like a tuxedo it's a one-piece suit it's effectively a spaceship in itself an autonomous life support system for the astronauts they can put it on easily and it connects directly to the life support systems of the suit uh, We now have some interesting images from spacex describing how the suits were designed by the people who designed them.
I think one of the things that was important in developing the suit was making something easy to wear. that the crew literally has to plug in when they sit down and then the suit takes care of itself from there, so the suit is really a part of the larger dragon system, it's really part of the vehicle, so we thought about that. as a sort of seating system of the suit, so the seat that the crew is in in the suit works together in many ways, so it made sense that we were designing Dragon in-house to also design the suit that they are in.
Our spacesuits are completely designed. -The house is built here in Hawthorne, California, in the same building as the rockets and capsule. Spacesuits are custom made for each crew member and that is to optimize the fit for the crew member. We definitely wanted to innovate and we wanted it to look inspiring. But above all, we wanted it to be safe and reliable. The primary purpose of the spacesuit is to protect the crew in the unlikely event that the cabin depressurizes, but the suit does a number of additional things: it provides cooling and communication for the crew. The interior of the suit provides them with hearing protection and the outer layer of the suit is fire resistant, so it also provides protection against flames.
When the crew enters the capsule, they sit in their seats and connect the suit to the umbilical that is connected to the seat. and the umbilical provides everything the suit needs, so it provides the avionics or electronics for communications, it provides air to cool the suit and it also provides gas when needed to pressurize the suit, so it's actually a single point that allows the suit to do everything. the things it needs to do, we design the helmet in-house, the helmet serves a number of different functions, obviously it protects the crew's head and retains gas like the rest of the suit, but it also houses the microphones and the valves that are regulating the pressure In the suit, we had to design the gloves to work with the touch screens, but the gloves also had to do a number of other things like the rest of the suit, so all of those things had to come together inside the glove.
Obviously it's going to be amazing to see Bob and Doug in their flight suits and I think one of the interesting things about the suit is that it's not just a piece of hardware, it's not just a suit, it's something very personal, it's Bob's suit and It's a dog suit, so seeing the two of them in their suits wearing it in flight will be truly amazing. We're looking at a shot now inside the launch control headquarters at the Kennedy Space Center, there are actually two assets. mission controls three active mission controls operating today there is the launch control center here at ksc at the kennedy space center there is a uh launch control center at spacex headquarters in hawthorne california and of course there is a control of mission in houston that will take over the flight uh at the moment the engine bells come out of the tower as soon as the spacecraft is released from the gantry, basically it is the Houston bird that flies in cooperation with the crew in Hawthorne, California, what we're looking at now is the area around the crew exit facility on that little walkway you see right in the back, this is the ramp and gate that the historic crews went through before the first uh, well, right here we have the first crew to go to the first moon landing. uh buzz aldrin neil armstrong and michael collins uh this is the crew of Apollo 11 this is the first crew to fly the space shuttle bob crippen and john young in 1981. this tragically is the challenging crew on their strike on the way to their flight this so Similar is the Columbia crew, the crew that was lost in 2003 when their spacecraft broke up on reentry.
There have been many more successful missions coming out of these doors over the decades than these periodic tragedies and we see bob benkin and doug hurley this is from last wednesday during their strike wearing the new spacex spacesuits they are climbing onto a gull wing um uh tesla a and one of elon musk's companies on their way to the launch pad told us that on that flight on that trip to the pad last Wednesday, their audio track included uh ac dc, the blues brothers and the banner covered in stars to put them in a patriotic mood, the look at the platform at the moment is not very promising, the cloud cover obviously suggests that there could be some weather delays again today, of course a weather delay effectively means a cleanup because As we said, we have an instant launch window of 3:22 p.m. m., it slams down at 322 and at that point the crew might have to wait again until tomorrow at 3 pm what we are looking at here is the swing arm attached to the crew's Dragon spacecraft, that swing arm runs from the gantry, that scaffolding that is located next to the rocket and provides the crew with access to the spacecraft itself. um the big building we were looking at was the vehicle assembly building where the rocket, as the name suggests, is assembled and upright um again we're back on the platform here uh, the sight of the flag waving so quickly as it was in the The breeze is not necessarily the best indicator of ideal weather, as is this cloud cover, but for now all systems are still considered active and the flight is still active as of 3:22 p.m. m., we're now seeing astronauts Bob Benkin and Doug Hurley, walking through those. the same historic doors, uh, preparing to be transported to the platform, that's bob benkin on the right, doug hurley on the left, doug is the commanding general of the spacecraft, bob is the commander of the crew, activities particularly of rendezvous and docking, you notice that in the space game everyone gets the word commander in their title no one wants to be seen as the subordinate uh in the days of the gemini program um they weren't called pilot and copilot but command pilot and pilot for the same reason uh these are the astronauts, of course, they say goodbye to friends and family, they realize that, in this time of quarantine, especially there is no physical contact, this has been happening since long before the coveted era, has There have been crew quarantines since the Gemini program.
The crew boarding this Tesla will be attached to the seats through the same life support system that attaches them to the seats in the spacecraft, this allows oxygen and other life support systems to begin circulating through the suits. , think about each of these. suits like a space suitindependent, they are now preparing so that the suits can hold them once those helmets are closed basically, once those helmets are closed, the crew will have to take one last breath of fresh air until they return to Earth. compressed air on their way up during their time aboard the station and on their way down, they now begin a nine-mile journey to the launch pad, one more goodbye to family and friends and then they leave for that journey to the platform that is uh Close to the last time we will see them live until they return to Earth, in a month or three months, normally the trip to the launch pad has been carried out in some kind of vehicle recreational, uh, a climate. controlled van in which the crew sat together this caravan of teslas is the kind of advertising that money can't buy, but they are also sweet machines and are in line with the technology on display today, which are the two keys to Elon Musk. companies, so it is logical that they drive up to a spacex space capsule, a spaceship on a tesla, a tesla car, the only astronaut who has gone to the platform before in a small phil, here, the distance, the mileage to the launch pad is a function of the fact that what the astronauts will be flying aboard today is essentially 76,000 gallons of highly explosive fuel on a 229 foot rocket which is a very dangerous machine and all flights are observed, the observation posts They are about three and a half miles from the launch pad.
The somewhat circuitous route the crew has to travel across NASA roads to get them to the pad is about nine miles, which is why we see this long caravan during the days of the Apollo program, a Saturn V rocket that exploded at launch. The platform would have produced the largest non-nuclear explosion ever designed by humans, so there was a sort of three-mile forbidden footprint, trampled around this, and the rocket had a complete absence of any other human life other than the astronauts themselves. and the keyboard crew technicians and the hundreds of thousands of people who watched the uh watch those launches and watch from that three mile distance here we're seeing the caravan approaching the pad um once it arrives the crew will board the elevators that they're going to take them to the gantry and the spacecraft level on top of Saturn on top of the Falcon 9 rocket so they can be on the pointy end of the rocket and have a chance to go up to uh, up to space, it's just a momentous moment and they are also listening to some songs, I heard right, lauren, yeah, yeah, they, uh, there are at least three songs on their playlist that are super interesting, the first one is AC DC's Back in Black, you know ? one does, well, who doesn't do it well?
Another one they're listening to is the elevator music by the blues brothers, they film the girl from empinima and of course they're also listening to the star-studded banner, the army's French horn version, now we. I didn't have any tunes in the astrovan and I know the Tesla has a really awesome stereo system, but it's still the custom stereo system that's in the Tesla. I haven't been to this one so I don't know what they are. cool, but I'm sure it's cool, and again, just for perspective, you know they left operations at the cash building just a minute ago, so it's about a nine-mile drive from there to the checkout platform. launch, it takes them around 20 minutes.
It depends on how fast they're transporting the truck, the other thing you sometimes hear while you're in the convoy is the helicopter, the huey helicopter flying overhead and it's like you also know you're thinking you're military. thinking about really important things and it's a moment that also solidifies in you that something big is about to happen and that the sound of that tone is in your head and it feels good that all these people are helping you achieve it. there safely, yeah, I think we heard that when we were passing this building earlier because we were talking, I thought, "I hope that's what I think it is" and it was pretty quiet because it was pretty loud, you could feel it.
I took this trip yesterday, uh in my rental car and I admit it wasn't a model find out how to get on the falcon 9. lauren we're all astronauts we're in space that's true you just have to get on the rocket yeah well leland there's a great group of people who love you who love you you're there I think we should know, listen to them, yeah, I'm all for it, I think we should make that a survey question, yeah, well maybe we should all go to space, I'm on board, I mean, not literally right now, but I'd like to be On board, Lauren, would you go with us?
Totally fine, poll question, we have so many people watching online sending well wishes to Bob and Doug. I mean, it started earlier this week as we were getting ready for Wednesday and I feel like there's been a buildup of momentum because you know we were following Wednesday and now we're all following Saturday and we have people watching from home who, hopefully, don't you will have to work today and you will be able to really tune in to what is happening. here and we, you know, as astronauts, we really appreciate all the support, all the social media and we think of you, you know our families, you know we saw Megan, um and Karen there with their kids wishing well to Doug and Bob.
They called me? The convoy is now approaching launch pad 39a, the historic pad from which Apollo 11 was launched, from which almost all lunar flights were launched and which is now leased to Spacex for the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and, in ultimately, the falcon heavy rocket um we see supporters on the side of the road we see the greetings we see the goodbyes um this is the critical moment um when the crew will begin to say goodbye to the earth say goodbye to these earthly vehicles uh and they will become part of the machine which will take you to space when you arrive, there will be a short walk from the cars to the elevators that will take you to the top of the gantry level through the swing arm and to your spaceship, which will be your home for the next 20 hours, about 24 hours from now the crew will rendezvous with the international space station, as we said before it will take them only 12 minutes to reach space but it will take them 19 minutes to catch up with the international space station and when they board they will be aboard the station for between one month and three months.
We hear these helicopters overhead now, you can see these, the NASA logo, on the back. Tesla is the worm logo from the 1970s, it was named because of its wavy sine wave design. The worm logo has been taken out of mothballs and is being repurposed to be used alongside NASA's more traditional blue round logo. that's called the meatball on what we're looking at here to the left, uh, that structure that looks like a water tower is exactly a water tower that dispenses hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to cool down the launch pad shortly. After the engine light, the largest structure in the middle is the gantry that supports the elevator and other support structures and at the top of the gantry, to the right, you see that moving arm that will be the walkway through which the astronauts will cross.
To address the rocket explosion danger area now, before platform technicians, engineers or astronauts enter that area around the launch pad, Spacex and NASA teams conduct an internal survey to ensure that Everything is clear on this historic launch pad that has been the starting point for so many firsts. It is the perfect backdrop for today's historic launch that marks a new first and a new era in human spaceflight. Here's a view from our porch near launch complex 39a. We have another view of the convoy moving. around here if I had to count all the cameras we have everywhere for this, I would be here all day.
That's a beautiful shot, right there, looking at the Kennedy Space Center and Merritt Island, all the nature around us. a big 39a buffer so we can be safe and launch our rockets into space absolutely safely and a lot of people don't realize that this is a national wildlife refuge. I mean, I pass turtles on the way to my car every day. when we ran away from operations and the cash building we had to be careful of snakes and alligators and so to be very careful with wildlife we ​​used to have one that lived in 39a, oh really yes an alligator Well, maybe we'll see it, we'll keep an eye on our tweet if you see any.
Did you name him before my time? I don't know how an alligator would feel about being called a worm and we have a lot of you following us. on social media, Lynn says that as a fellow Missourian, we are very proud of Bob's launch in America. We will be watching from the space coast clapping loudly, another comment, good luck and astro banking and the Astro Doug hashtag of the launch in America. There you see the horizontal integration of Spacex. The facilities are on the left of the screen now we saw the front uh from the other angle, sorry no, there it is, I was mixing my buildings so now it's on the right, a bigger building, the other one is the support of the falcon The building is where all our offices are and yes, you are right, thanks for the correction.
There is our hangar where we process Falcon Heavy. There are also other boosters in that hangar and the rocket and the dragon that are on the platform right now were. assembled or rather finally integrated inside that hanger and then extended to that platform to go up vertically and there's that uh, that shot really gives you an idea of ​​the scale of the Falcon 9 rocket, those Teslas look tiny, tiny, uh. going up there and as they go up to the platform, we're going to launch it now to Hawthorne, where Jesse and Dan are watching the action. Hey guys, another pretty major improvement is the dragon's new life support system, since I can imagine that flying humans requires maintaining a habitable environment throughout the flight and that means covering everything, such as providing breathable air, keeping the capsule at a pressure safe, keeping it free of contaminants, removing carbon dioxide from the air, regulating temperature, humidity, all these things. and also implement that waste collection system, aka the toilet, which sounds pretty important.
The changes to Falcon 9 were small but extremely significant to meet NASA's human spaceflight safety requirements, and specifically, Spacex had to demonstrate a high degree of fault tolerance, meaning small failures. in the system would not lead to mission failure Falcon 9 was already capable of handling engine failure, but new emphasis was placed on ensuring that a failure in any phase of the launch did not mean failure of the mission and this extends to control of the latches. valves, electronic wiring and much more, very good, with the astronauts now in location on platform 39a, let's turn it back Marie Lauren Leland, take us through the crew taking their final steps towards the dragon spacecraft, sure, so we're looking.
Back at launch complex 39a just a few seconds ago we saw the Tesla carrying Bob and Doug arrive at the launch pad. This is the site of so much history. This is where the Apollo and Saturn V rockets, uh, launched the Moon. took astronauts from, I mean, this platform has so much history, leland, you launch from there, what's it like to see Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 there with the platform, uh, with all the visual changes that have been made, I mean what type of emotions? This stirs in you, you know, when we got out of our astro van, we got out and we just looked up to see this vehicle and it was creaking, moaning, making noises, it was getting ready for us to get in. to get us off the planet and you know you have a chance to take a photo, sometimes you stand there, you look there, you think about all the training you've done, all the preparation and again all the people who have helped you get there and it's just it's a solemn and incredible moment for all of us and there's another amazing drone shot lauren you explained this a little bit earlier about how spacex puts the rocket and the capsule upright now that we see it can you explain it again for people which you might miss that yes of course the dragon is actually processed a few miles off the road in area 59 or dragon land as we like to call it then we put it on a truck and drive it to the hangar where there is the rocket.
And then what will happen is we will then break, we call it break, where the vertical vehicles will turn it to the side because the rocket is being processed sideways or horizontally in the hangar, whichlifted up Falcon 9 and then rolled up. those suspension doors and they essentially pull the vehicle onto the mounting conveyor, which is the big white frame structure that you see there, all the fluid lines, electrical lines and everything is connected to the vehicles through the mounting conveyor and basically it they roll up rails you can't really see them, you kind of see them on the screen those rails roll the whole rocket dragon assembly up to the top of the platform, attach it to the platform systems and then roll it up vertically and we're about Minus two hours 57 minutes 44 seconds and counting in just a couple of minutes, we expect to hear a formal announcement that the crew is on the platform, of course, we saw them arrive in the Teslas and there they are, it seems that they have already gotten out of the car and are walking towards the elevator that will take them to the 255-foot level and then they will have a couple of steps to get to the level where the team accesses the arm.
Do I have the AC DC song in my head when I see them approaching? Do you know what it was? I was like uh knocking on my way it was a fancy dressed zz top man oh well I was like I didn't know. that could be on my playlist there, they're taken in full view, I'm craning my neck to see the top of the Falcon 9 rocket, it's 230 feet tall if you round it up and then Crew Dragon is another 27 feet from the bottom from the trunk to the top of the nose cone, so if you're out there in person, it's very hard to describe how big it is, watch them get excited, they're ready to get in the vehicle.
In the elevator and I get to the top there is some food that is collecting remains of foreign objects. I appreciate that they're also wearing food covers on their shoes, by the way, oh really, yeah, we want to make sure they don't know. track the outside, the inside of the dragon as they enter, and just before they enter the vehicle, they will remove the fog covers from their boots. You take it for granted, you know all the little details like that, all the thought and preparation that goes into it. To literally break down every part of this operation, I love the Route 39a makeover with the sleek black with the white ticking and lines, and it's a very futuristic look for this iconic launch pad and to think about what it's been there before with mercury.
Gemini Apollo uh shuttle and now the Spacex Crew Dragon preparing for a launch to the international space station. Rocket fuel is still running through my veins and we feel very honored to be able to launch from here. Oh, here they are. It is a very fast elevator. Yes, I know it really works. I took them. up to 255 feet in just a matter of seconds, the fog covers were removed, it looks like maybe they were just checking something on their boot or leg and we should hear a call any time the crew has reached the platform as they go up the stairs and They head to the crew access arm.
Now there's the worm popping, you know, meatball, don't worry, there's a meatball in the crew dragon. Those white arrows you see there essentially light the way for whoever is there. up there to find their way to the escape baskets in case an emergency forces them away from the rocket on the pad and it's hard to tell from this angle, but there's actually a phone right here and I can't tell me if it's Bob or Doug's on the phone right now, but Leland, can you explain the meaning of that? It's the same phone that was there during the shuttle days.
Yes, you have the opportunity to maybe talk to friends or family that you haven't had. Maybe I couldn't come to the launch, in this case there are quite a few people, but just to have that last moment to talk to someone before getting on the vehicle, a beautiful view and when, and we're watching the crew when they. When we're done using the phone, we wait for them to head to the crew access arm and arrive at approximately t minus two hours and 35 minutes, the astronauts will enter or that's a word we use to describe getting on the Crew Dragon and we saw.
Doug, do it a couple minutes early on Wednesday. There was a little bit of anticipation so that time could be a little flexible, but that will happen with the help of the suit technicians and they will strap you into your seats and so with Coming soon we will head to Hawthorne to see a preview of what awaits us in the future in space travel. Jesse uh, we've been listening, we've been listening to the NASA broadcast, uh, uh, narrating what's going on, uh, on. the swing arm on the platform right now uh they will eventually launch it to hawthorne california um spacex headquarters uh to show some of what's happening there uh at the moment we see bob benkin removing shoes from foreign object debris uh, from their boots, uh, that prevent them from tracking any foreign object, any dirt in this pristine new spacecraft, uh, it's like taking off your flip flops before entering the house, uh, these, the astronauts are about to cross that swing arm and then, uh.
Enter the spaceship, you can see above the NASA meatball logo on the wall what looks like a little graffiti, that's where the astronauts signed their names, Bob Benkin and Doug Hurley, before boarding last Wednesday, this is the beginning of a new crew tradition. in this new white room and this at the end of at least six spacex missions to the ISS that wall will be quite full of signatures, you saw something similar in the exit scenes when they left through the double doors during the walk to the vans that carry astronauts to the launch pad, you can see above the doors, um, dozens and dozens of crew decals, crew patches, each of which indicates a crew, whether it's from the Mercury Gemini Apollo or the eras of the ferry that went through those doors and left. to the launch pads this marks a new tradition uh autographing the walls of the clean room before boarding the spaceship uh the spaceship that they are entering now the dragon um is uh is a young machine is a machine that transports humans by first time but it has a pretty solid history, so far there have been 22 dragon launches with 21 visits to the international space station, the spacecraft has the capacity to hold up to seven people, which is the maximum capacity of the much larger shuttle on which It stands 20 Nearly 27 feet high and 13 feet wide, which is about the same width as the Apollo crew vehicle, but is two and a half times the height and habitable capacity that the Apollo had.
It is maneuvered in space by 16 Draco thrusters. Those are the thrusters that allow it to change its orientation and attitude in space. On the way back, it descends under the power of two parachutes and four main parachutes, as you can see in the pictures here. It's a nice adaptable system, we see it now configured for just two astronauts, but again it can hold up to seven. The Falcon 9 rocket on which the Dragon will launch today is 229 feet tall and powered by nine Merlin engines. Spacex has an interesting technique for building rockets basically they are governed by the more is more philosophy their first rocket the falcon had a single engine merlin the falcon 9 as its name indicates has nine engines the falcon heavy uh which is one of the heaviest rockets that fly today have three groups of nine or 27 Merlin engines, each of those engines is capable of producing 125,000 pounds of thrust, so for this rocket that will be launched today it will exert the equivalent of one million one hundred and twenty-five. five thousand pounds of thrust in total, it runs on rp1 rocket fuel, which sounds very fancy, but is actually just a very technical way of saying refined kerosene, and it also uses liquid oxygen as an oxidizer.
This will be the 84th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since the first launch on June 4, 2010, and a major innovation of the Spacex design system is that that first stage is not dispensable. The first stage of the rocket can be reused when it is discarded from the rest. of the spacecraft after its fuel has been exhausted, it does not simply fall into the ocean, but lands on a barge in the ocean to be refurbished and used again so far there have been 44 successful landings of the first stage of a falcon on a ocean barge and 31 of those stages have been refurbished and wallowed, this is a way to keep costs down and keep production lines moving quickly.
Today's launch is the result of more than 10 years of development of the commercial crew program. The initial idea was to simply allow NASA to purchase services from private companies that would fly crew members to and from the international space station, freeing the space agency to focus on its long-term ambitions of exploring deeper space by going to the moon. later to Mars uh here We're looking at when the first commercial crew announcements were made. The crews showed up. There are two companies that will fly crews to and from the international space station. Spacex and so far have not been mentioned, but the stakes are high.
It's Boeing, which is flying its Starliner spacecraft, has one more uncrewed test sometime in the next two or three months and then has another crude test sometime in early 2021. The astronauts and Spacex have gone through many stages to get to this point. Um, they successfully flew a pad abort test, which is what we're looking at right here, a test of the launch escape system that moves the capsule away from a booster that may be flying poorly or perhaps about to explode. The old Gemini spacecraft used ejection. seats, the Apollo and Mercury spacecraft used something very similar to this.
What you are seeing here is what would happen if a rocket started to explode and the Spacex crew compartment or the Dragon crew compartment would simply separate and then descend into the Atlantic, safely for a quick recovery, this was one of his greatest successes. This onboard platform test, similarly, they performed a launch abort test where they actually deliberately destroyed a Falcon 9 on the way up to test whether the spacecraft could arrive safely. away from a rocket that was in danger of exploding, the company also passed that test, the system, the escape system was tested, it showed that astronauts could be safely removed from an exploding vehicle, we see that happening now, That A small dot in the center of the screen is the now escaping crew compartment.
Not everything has gone well. This explosion here was deliberate and was supposed to simulate a rocket gone wrong. Not everything went well. There have been some. stumbles, uh, during one of the pad abort tests in 2019, the spacecraft itself exploded on the launch pad, which is a very bad sign and there was no denying the fact that that was a setback, here There is another setback from 2016. when one of the rockets was being fueled on the launch pad and exploded. We just saw that it is a crash of one of the um of the first stages while trying to land on a barge when it did not land, fortunately there were no injuries in any of these cases. and as recently as yesterday in boca chica, texas, where the spacex spacecraft, the 120-foot-tall stainless steel rocket that elon musk hopes to use to reach the moon and then mars, is being designed, there was a test by fire static at launch. pad just yesterday and there was another explosion, it was a well-timed accident, a day before elon musk and spacex are ready to send astronauts into space, it doesn't necessarily inspire confidence, but these are two very different spacecraft, the starship that exploded yesterday is very much a spaceship prototype in development that is nowhere near ready to transport humans.
The Falcon 9 is a highly tested vehicle with its 88 launches and its highly successful overall safety rating, so what we are seeing today is the result of multiple successes and a handful of failures and that is basically how engineering is done. rockets um spacex dragon loud and clear core loud and clear masters com check full standby with comp checks with md and ld in launch configuration dragon md on countdown one come check spacex uh jason copy loud and clear loud and Of course I'm glad to have you on board, wait to see the communications in dragon the ground dragon md dragon the ground calm check md dragon loud and clear md loud and clear wait for contracts with ld dragon launch director in the countdown a comp check good late micro loud and clear I have you the same and good afternoon wait my comp check about dragging the ground dragon spacex about dragging the ground comp review the spacex dragon loud and clear I have the same to you rear decoration spacex dragon this concludes our launch communications verification report of configuration when ready for the seating rotation for section two of 4,100 dragon.
I'll put it in the working copy so all those communications checks have been done successfully and you can even see and it's great when we have these viewsdirectly into the cockpit space next dragon in two decimal two we're ready for the seat rotation copy we'll report as we start, but you can see Doug early using his right hand. He has the talk button built into the seat, so again I show you all the different systems. how the suit is built into the seat and it's just a big circle for this whole spaceship. It's really cool to see those offset checks live. um jessica, thank you so much for walking us through some of the really cool updates.
Did you have any updates? Other interesting things besides let's see, so I don't know if you guys can see, but we have the dragon clean room here and one of the most interesting things is that it's right on the main floor of our main building, so thousands of employees they pass by here. all the time and see the dragon in its final processing before going to cape on Wednesday the crew a capsule was here it looked almost finished it looks a little empty at the moment but that's because that capsule was fired to our separate test facility for its final propulsion checks, so we do leak checks and things there and we do it in a separate facility.
We've been watching Bob and Doug Hurley, uh, inside the spaceship, let's meet these two gentlemen, a little bit of Bob Benkin. be listed as the mission's joint operations commander, what that means is that he is in charge of the delicate choreography of rendezvous and docking and other exercises as the spacecraft approaches the international space station tomorrow. That is a very delicate system. A small 26-foot spacecraft is approaching a large flying liner the size of a football field, and docking those two vehicles is a complicated process. Bob was first selected to be an astronaut in 2000. He has flown two space shuttle missions. 123 in March 2008 and sts -130 in February 2010.
He is a veteran of no less than half a dozen spacewalks, three on each mission. He was born in Saint and Missouri. He has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in engineering from none other than Cal Tech. and served for a time as a flight test engineer for the US Air Force. Doug Hurley is the commander of the spacecraft (he was also selected as an astronaut in the incoming class of 2000 born in endicott new york has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from tulane and graduated as uh from the us naval pilot test school in maryland.
He was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the Marine Corps. uh, he flew like Bob. He has been on two shuttle flights STS-127 in 2009 and, appropriately, STS-135. on July 11 the last shuttle flight uh after 30 years of shuttle missions um both astronauts get a commander designation uh commander for mission operations and commander of the spacecraft itself um it's a further sign of the fact that It's collaborative and as a collegiate, a business like flying in space is, these are competitive men and women and no one necessarily likes to fly under the command of another person, so we both try command a little bit and we have some deeper profiles of the POT. that we can show them a little more about the astronauts by talking about themselves and their own experiences.
Hi, I'm Bob Bankin. I'm the joint operations mission commander for NASA's SpaceX Demo2 mission, so Doug Hurley and I are about to embark. NASA's SpaceX Demo 2 mission to the International Space Station During that mission we'll be doing some checks, From responding to an onboard fire to flying near the International Space Station manually, we'll make sure all of those systems are working during the test. flight so that future missions will have them available even if they do not plan to use them. We're hoping that future dragon rover crews heading to NASA's space station won't curse our names because we accept some characteristic. that was complicated and difficult to train and, in the end, difficult to operate, you know, in the flight test environment of the air force environment, there's always a balance between managing risk as you go to execute a point of test and find a way to collect the data and do it in a calm, cool, collected test environment with experienced people before, you know, a pilot ends up in a slightly more complicated place with a lot fewer resources.
My role for a space mission is very similar to yours. I know my career at NASA has spanned a couple of decades. Right now I came in with the class of 2000. I went through the training program focused primarily on the space shuttle and the international space station, learning those systems through the assembly process, which was a little bit like when we were with a dragon in the first few days because the space station kept changing and you had to keep up after that. Eventually I was assigned a series of training activities both as a long duration crew member and then I turned around and flew a couple of shuttle missions, both in effort, after that I came back and worked up the leadership chain through from the deputy chief of station operations and then the head of the astronaut office.
One of my goals was to try to become so Many astronauts went to Kazakhstan to cherish the day when we could launch again from the Florida coast. Probably two things that feel like big wins to me, one is associated with having high enough fidelity from a training perspective, both for Doug and I can sit in a pod, we can put on suits, and we can go through a situation or a scenario where the suits are going to inflate to try to protect us from any situation that is developing on board the vehicle and I think one of our greatest achievements was a tool to be able to plan our own path out of orbit back to Earth and we had to find a way that didn't break the software allocation that was there and we just had a general idea of ​​how it works. the crew just gets home if they end up in this situation, how does the crew get home if they end up in this situation when they were able to flip that switch and not count how many failures it took to get there, but other than that, let's find out. the easiest way to provide that capability and they jumped on board, that was the moment, aha, you don't necessarily have to save the mission with the crew, but you have to save the crew with the crew, that's the mentality we have.
I've put it in there, it's really designed to make launch day a little relaxed, so we'll get up, probably do a little exercise or have breakfast and then some exercise so we can do something last minute, you know, make calls telephones. We'll probably have lunch, check a weather report of some kind to understand what our weather will be like. We will listen to anything associated with the type of technical detail of the vehicle. We'll have an early read on that. before the formal process of putting on the suit and then heading to the launch pad, you know, having launched a couple of times in vehicles, you know that the second time was definitely different than the first in terms of relaxation associated with the mission, you're doing that for the first time, you may feel a little guilty.
Hey, should I study one more thing or is there some more information I need to get, so it's definitely different between where I was on my first flight and where? I'm on a deeply personal level right now. I am very excited that my son will have the opportunity to see me launch into space. Being an astronaut has been something a little abstract for him because he has seen me do it. It's on old videos, but he hasn't seen me actually do it. I think it's important for USA to continue to have these interesting things from a technical engineering scientific challenge perspective because it motivated me to get into this type of a career and I know it motivates other kids and that's why I'm excited to bring it back to the Florida coast or be a part of bringing it back.
You know, I'm just one part of a team of thousands of members. I hope that I can achieve this in no time. It's inspiring to me and I'm excited to be a part of it, so what's going on in that white room, the part of the swing arm that connects to the spaceship? that we can see the type of black accordion-like structure that is the white room where the crew technicians the platform technicians are helping the astronauts enter the spacecraft what is happening behind that room right now? is closure, this is the point at which the spacecraft is sealed, while the astronauts have not yet physically left the planet, they have effectively atmospherically left the planet, they are now breathing life-support air, they are being supported by the systems on board.
The environmental control systems aboard the spacecraft are now in some sense in space. This is how they will live for the next one to three months aboard the international space station. They are now in some sense integrated with their spacecraft. of which they are part the machine the door is closed there is no longer Florida air filling their spaceship uh this is the entire life support system of their suits of their seats that are integrated into the suits and of the dragon nine or the ship itself space dragon crew keeping the crew alive, they are now in the process of taking leave, having verified the events in the capsule, let's meet our second astronaut on board, doug hurley, the commander of the spaceship.
Hi, my name is doug hurley and i. I am the spacecraft commander for demonstration mission 2 to the international space station, this mission is the raw test flight for the spacex crew dragon, so every part of the flight will be the first time for the spacex dragon. The dragon crew will have a crew on board, so there are a lot of objectives that we want to achieve, obviously the first part is to launch the rendezvous and docking phase and then we will spend some time aboard the space station and do some docked activities with the vehicle and then at some point 30 to 90.
Days later we will undock and make an entry and then land in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida. It's a story about sts-127, which was my first flight. I think we did a cleaning on the order of six times over the course of about a month. It was literally Groundhog Day trying to get to space and of course it's your first flight so you really want to go. We just had technical challenges during the first two or three launch attempts and then we had to check the weather several times before I finally have to go, which is why you have to go to the pad, you have to get on the vehicle because you never know when it's going to happen. to improve the climate, it is not the best of stories, but I fondly remember that mission for which we worked very hard. 16 days, but it was a great mission once we took off, first we headed to Kennedy, we took out every checklist and every responsibility that each of us had, we almost made it through the first few days and you see that in sports.
On teams you see coaches and players spending that extra time after practice and at night reviewing film and going over film of the other teams. I think that's what you need to do in space flight: you need to know what you're going to do. do it almost instinctively if not completely from memory and then go from there and I think that sets you up for success with the shuttle you were on your back for almost four hours waiting for launch so part of this was just finishing with this and start. it goes, but then when the engines turn it on, you know you're going and you know you're going somewhere pretty fast and you go from the case to the shuttle, you go from three g to zero g instantly and things start floating and I distinctly remember thinking what It just happened because eight and a half minutes ago I was on Earth and now I'm in space and obviously with Falcon 9 and Dragon this will be the first time humans ride Falcon 9 even though it has already flown. many times you tend to throw more g.
The first stage is quite similar to the shuttle. We had a first stage of approximately two and a half minutes. The difference will be with Falcon 9, the engines that you know are separated from that part of the rocket. the engines in the first stage, so you get a kind of weightlessness or a lack of acceleration for a fraction of a second or two, so that part will be clearly different, we could experience somewhere on the order of four plus g, while shuttle we were limited to just 3gs, I think our concentration has mostly been on you know, the profile, the crew vehicle interface, you know how the dragon will work for crews in the future, that's why we're going to do this flight now.
To demonstrate what we think it will ideally do, it will do exactly what we expect it to do. The first simulator in which we integrate the control equipmentHawthorne mission control and the Houston mission control team was a great moment to be able to have the entire team integrated. team that will help us get to and from the space station talking together working on challenges. I think that was probably the first big highlight for me and that wasn't that long ago. It overwhelms you to think about how many people have in some shape or form touched this program and this and this vehicle to get us to this point.
You know obviously in many ways we're the lucky ones who get to fly it, but we certainly don't take the amount for granted for a second. of effort that so many other people had to put into this to make it a success and you know we will do our part to make it a success and to come back here and celebrate with everyone in a few months very excited, yes, very I'm excited, so Today is as much about Bob and Doug and the future of the space program as it is a slightly elegiac look at the phase we just left behind and that phase ended with the final flight of Atlantis, let's take a look at Atlantis and how it was prepared For that final flight that ended the 130-flight space shuttle program, begin what the spacecraft hatch has now officially closed.
We'll get back to the images of Atlantis in a moment, um, you can see. the clean room equipment um sealing the hatch uh it's a very laborious process this is the door that separates astronauts from the void once they get to space so you don't want to make mistakes with this um hatches have a long history in the NASA has a very dark history with a hatch that did not open during the Apollo 1 fire, so if there is any part of the spacecraft that has received special attention since that tragedy in 1967, it is the hatch, the door that separates to the astronauts inside. world to the outside world um this crew this clean room crew will not abandon this spaceship until they are absolutely sure that the hatch is sealed and closed and that it is crew worthy and flight worthy and it's starting to look like they are I'm satisfied with these preparations and I will momentarily step back and allow the swing arm to move back and now let's take a look at that look at the final flight of the shuttle Atlantis and how it was prepared for that shutdown.
The final mission journey of the United States space shuttle fleet began with shuttle Atlantis in this processing hangar. The ship was there for weeks to check and recheck its millions of parts, making sure the last shuttle was ready to transport 14 tons of equipment and food supplies to the international space station once it was announced that Atlantis was suitable for flight, the next step in this final journey was the procedure known as a rollover that began with the towing of Atlantis from its processing hangar to the vehicle assembly building following a path well used by 134 other shuttle missions. 30 years of flight three photographers documented this process with sequential photographs taken over four days with the 15 cameras capturing 120,000 images once inside the vehicle assembly building The largest building in the country by volume east of Mississippi Atlantis was erected with a halter A crane was then attached to its giant solid-fuel thrusters and 15-story liquid fuel tank.
When completed, the shuttle emerged to begin its slow six-hour progress to the launch pad. Hundreds of shuttle workers gathered to watch the space shuttle move forward. final launch and with good and sentimental reason, 355 humans flew over the course of 135 shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011. The secret of the shuttle was, in some ways, its lack of glamor: it was a reusable, workhorse ship that carried humans and equipment to and from space. and in doing so helped ensure America's future off the planet. This launch of two astronauts aboard a Spacex rocket, the first such launch from American soil since the flight of Atlantis, is the next big step in that future and once again we are seeing the swing arm. that will soon move away from the spaceship leaving Bob and Doug alone on top of the rocket with their support team finally separated from them.
You can see here that there is a small rain storm, it is a little difficult. to distinguish the rain itself, but it's not at all difficult to distinguish the gray sky, so there might be some problems there, as you can. Look, now we're back in the white room and this hatch is getting even more attention, although it seems that these touch panels are being used to mark those final milestones, and it looks like this team is getting ready to finally leave the white room and let the swing arm return uh while we wait for the swing arm to return um a big part of the future of the space program obviously involves elon musk and uh I had a chance to talk to him sometime last year, let's look at a little bit of that conversation we had at Spacex headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
I think the Apollo 11 landing on the moon was probably the most inspiring thing in history, possibly the most inspiring thing on this level. The inspiration that that provided to the people of Earth was incredible and it certainly inspired me. I kept hoping that we would continue beyond Apollo 11, that we would have a base on the Moon, that we would send people to Mars, but the United States has been without the ability to send people to low Earth orbit since 2011, when the shuttle retired, we need advance space beyond what's been done before and we need to send people to Mars, expand our horizons, you know, do more in 2002, Elon Musk founded Spacex.
We have a takeoff that breaks the dominance that governments have had as exclusive providers for access to space ignition. It was confirmed that when Musk was unable to rent facilities to launch his rockets from the continental United States, he moved a team of engineers to a small tollbooth in Marshall. islands despite early failures spacex eventually found success in 2010 it became the first non-governmental organization to successfully launch into orbit and recover a spacecraft and in 2011 it was awarded its first contract with NASA as part of the crew program commercial. I thought spacex would start 90 likely to fail, the cost of access to space was simply too high, even if we doubled NASA's budget, unless NASA had good options for rocket contractors they still wouldn't make progress, so I actually funded the entire company myself at the beginning, not because I thought it would turn out well because I thought it would fail.
Elon Musk's brashness, his willingness to break old molds and make bold promises, has captivated space fans, giving the company and its founders some of the popular following that Steve Jobs and Apple once enjoyed. not just image the company does things differently landing spent first stages on ocean barges building its massive stainless steel rocket ship adding technological prowess to its popular sizzler the holy grail of space access is a fully reusable orbital rocket we can't have a base on the moon We cannot have a city on Mars, we cannot become a multiplanetary species without complete and rapid reuse, and we have made significant progress towards reuse with the reuse of the Falcon 9 boost stage, which represents about two-thirds of the launch cost maybe 70 percent and we have recently managed to catch the nose cone fairing of the rocket and that is a crazy exercise with a canister that is basically a giant catcher's mitt and the canister adjusts course automatically and that the two they already know maneuver to touch each other while spacex is pushing the limits of rocket technology.
It has also had some setbacks. A Crew Dragon spacecraft exploded during a test in 2019. The next crew launch to the international space station is delayed. schedule any new development process, especially for something as complicated as a spaceship. You know you can fly with a crew safely. The important focus for NASA is to do it safely and do it well. Many times you learn the most from failures and trials that don't go well. the way you expect them to, so the incident with Crew Dragon last year, you know, testing the exhaust system on the ground having an anomaly and then going back and reviewing the design to make sure we fully understood everything that It happened and you really know. improved the design to make sure something like this could never happen again and was as safe as possible from start to finish and it really culminated in that successful in-flight abort test earlier this year and there you just saw the trunk jettison again , but the Falcon 9 set to launch this week is now considered a reliable machine with a proven track record that says there is no risk that the rocket will use the so-called load-and-boot approach before launch and the fuel tanks will fill up.
After the astronauts have boarded the spacecraft, this improves the rocket's performance given the dense supercooled fuel used, but it has never been tested before with astronauts on board and there will be some tense moments before launch. The NASA team really took a deep look at all the pros and cons. of all the different ways to synchronize the crew integration and the entry and the loading and the launch of the vehicle and they really came together and determined that this was the best approach for this vehicle. Spacex represents a big part of NASA's future, but it also has a lyrical link to the past, one of the sweetest places in the world for people who love space is platform 39a, the best platform, the best platform, I want That is, Apollo 11 left from there, yes, practically all the orbital and moon landing missions left from there. there and I can't believe we had to use this patch and that's my question, crazy, how is that?
It is the smallest Spacex platform now we are not worthy, while this launch will be historic. Musk already has his eyes on the future. building a new rocket called a spaceship capable of taking humans to the moon and even Mars this flight marks an important first step towards those great voyages to come oh here we are getting a live shot of the scene at Cape Canaveral and if you You are not clearly seeing the launch pad because the weather conditions have once again conspired against this launch. Now we're still two hours away from launch, about two hours per minute, 58 and 14 seconds, and Florida weather can be fickle, it could clear and cloud over. up and clears and clouds again a couple of times in the next two hours, but at the moment these are not conditions under which any prudent flight director would launch a spacecraft, what we are hearing from reporters on the ground is the torrential word to describe the downpour, so right now, so far there is no launch, no standby countdown, there can't be a standby countdown today because there is an instant launch window at 322, so the clock will continue to operate and the spacecraft uh the rocket will take off or not at 3:22 pm uh right now if this weather holds it will not take off from the pad but once again we rely on the volatility and fickleness of the weather from Florida to maybe clarify Meanwhile, for us, um, that's the very short-term future of space exploration, what's going to happen in the next two hours, let's take a look at something long-term, what the future of space exploration. after this flight takes off sometime in the next, over the course of the next few years and decades, even as NASA and the rest of the world await the launch this week of two astronauts to the international space station on board. a spacex falcon 9 rocket the space agency itself has its eyes focused much deeper into space the entire purpose of the commercial crew program was not only to open space travel to the private sector but also to allow the agency to dedicate its human exploration energy to return the astronauts to the surface of the moon and then to mars we are going to mars and to go to mars we have to use the moon as a testing ground we need to get to mars that is our driving ambition as an agency and as humanity in terms of exploration This has been on many people's minds for generations and generations.
The new lunar program called Artemis in honor of Apollo's sister aims to have the first woman and next man on the surface of the moon no later than Beyond 2024. , the plan is ambitious, but with a lot of work and some interruptions, the goal can be achieved long in development and now the rocket that will be used for the missions, the prosaically called NASA Space Launch System, is nearing completion or sls the 21st. the century's answer to saturn 5 of the 20th century. Initial versions of the sls will be higher than a32 story building, later versions will max out at 38 stories, either will be more than capable of launching crews on a journey into deep space, the sls rocket The largest rocket ever built in history, tallest that the Statue of Liberty, it's on the five-yard line and we're going to throw it to the end zone if we're going to land in 2024, which will be the key.
The SLS will also be almost ready to fly is the Orion crew vehicle, an extremely improved version of the old Apollo spacecraft capable of carrying up to six crew members compared to Apollo's three. The first flight could take place as soon as as 2021 welcome inside the Orion trainer right now, I would say the crew members are here two or three days a week doing different tests. One of the most interesting things about the Orion spacecraft in general is that it is designed to take us to Mars, so this spacecraft is designed to be operated autonomously by the crew, so when we are on our way to Mars There will be minutes of delay in communications back to Houston and we will have to make all the decisions here.
It's really surprising, it's an impressive vehicle. to land on the moon nasa needs a new lunar lander and on april 30 the space agency selected three companies spacex blue origin and dinetics to begin the work of developing one the close ups of all the companies are promising and the competition It will be strengthened with only one company emerges as the final construction company. NASA's objective for this generation of moon landings is not to repeat the brief visits of the Apollo missions, the so-called flags and footprints model, but to go to the moon to stay. I don't want to give specific dates.
I don't want to make any announcements, but if we are going to land in 2024, we have to select quickly. The goal is to lead a coalition of nations to have a sustainable presence on the Moon with more access. to more parts of the moon than ever we learned that there are hundreds of millions of tons of water ice at the moon's south pole. What does that mean? Water ice represents air to breathe represents water to drink represents rocket fuel let's go to mars the moon is a reference point it's the place where we learn to live and work we learn to make it sustainable just learning to live off the land in a camp long term just three days flight from home can America? make sure you're ready to take the next big step to send astronauts to Mars After half a century of staying close to home in low-Earth orbit, humans will once again look deeper into space and follow where they look cosmic takes them too.
You can see in this shot that the weather has only deteriorated further. There is no word yet from NASA on whether this flight would take place early if weather conditions seemed absolutely hopeless or whether they will continue the countdown until three 3 3 22 p.m. mark one. One of the determining factors will be the loading and starting fuel, they have not started fueling this rocket yet, which is a complicated process, it is very possible that if the weather continues to deteriorate, they will decide that it is not worth it to even go through that and the launch. be washed early and the crew would leave early um but uh the bedding um here and the bedding in uh canefield right now it doesn't matter what we will go until the 3 22 pm mark and the spaceship will take off or not happen what What happens today on the launch pad, what happened before the crew arrived at the launch pad is part of a long history of spaceflight traditions, astronauts are not necessarily superstitious by nature, but they are creatures of habit, The first big moment in Any Astronaut's Day has always been the pre-flight breakfast, typically steak and eggs, that was Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, having their pre-flight breakfast, before Apollo 11.
What we saw A moment ago it was the traditional tree planting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where each new astronaut who ascends to the top will plant a tree. The stuffed toy we saw floating in the spaceship a moment earlier is another tradition, astronauts often carry some type of toy with them, not simply as an object of comfort, but also so they have something that will float when they reach zero gravity, remember They are strapped to their seats, they can't float, so when you see the stuffed toy start to fly, you'll know you're in orbit.
Here we see Bob and Doug continuing their other tradition, the new tradition of signing the walls of the white room before they take off and one of the oldest traditions and perhaps one of the least worthy traditions is the one started by Yuri Gagarin, the first human being in space. On the way to the launch pad he realized that he must have consumed too much coffee on the way to the pad, so he got out of the van and opened his space suit and relieved himself against the tire of the van that takes him to the pad.
From then on, astronauts and cosmonauts leaving the Baikonur Cosmodrome will stop on their way to the platform and have a similar self-unloading ceremony; It is not the most dignified but it is one of the most durable in space. Flying Traditions Tell me and I that we have a small error to correct here. Bob and Doug signing on the white room wall is not a new tradition. In fact, this has been happening for decades of flights, uh, uh, including the space shuttle. and other crews before them, this is simply the continuation of a long tradition, this time albeit in a completely new form.white room with a new platform for spacecraft 39a the launch pad from where the astronauts will leave for space today if weather permitting it is one of the most historic places in the history of the space program, as you saw before, elon musk sees it almost as sacred Earth, as many people do, it is the launch pad from which practically all the missions flew Apollo lunar missions, as well as the 135 shuttle missions.
Let's take a look at the history of platform 39a and how it came to be. altitude why some say the moon why choose this as our goal and you may well ask why climb the highest mountain to go down nine eight seven six five the three engines on and burning two one zero and take off the final takeoff of Atlantis On the shoulders of the space shuttle America the dream of Atlantis will continue, so let's take a look at some of the history before today. The great Apollo program, of course, was the one that landed humans on the moon.
There were 11 Apollo launches from Apollo 7 to Apollo 17 and nine of them went to the lunar surface, or at least circled the moon and then the lunar surface, some of the great men and women of space history They worked in that room, jean crans, glenn, lunny, chris craft, all of them. Of the giants of the space program, the rockets that launched from Pad 39a during the Apollo program were the largest rockets ever built. If you had been able to harness the power of that rocket by taking off, it would have been the equivalent of running all the rivers on the planet. america through a single hydroelectric turbine uh at the same time that was the type of energy that was used to get these rockets off the ground and into deep space um, uh right, the technology used was, of course, primitive by standards today, it was slide rule technology.
This was pencil technology, this was mental math technology, and yet it took these spacecraft to the lunar surface. The moon landing that was accomplished here on Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969, was the culmination of a promise that President Kennedy made nine years earlier, eight years earlier. Before, when he simply stated that we choose to go to the moon, we don't have to go to the moon, we choose to do this because we are people who travel to space, we are people who search, we are people who look at what is on a mountain. and we decide that we have to get to the other mountain we are people who look at one coast of an ocean and we decide that we have to get to the other side of that ocean to be able to explore that was it it all started with these seven original Mercury astronaut men six of the seven flew uh one didn't uh due to an early heart murmur um what they had to go through to qualify wasn't easy mercury program stuff the one man spacecraft uh the first launch was right here you see it on a red stone rocket, it was a small suborbital flight with pop gun, it is a small rocket, this spacecraft that carried Alan Shepard did not enter orbit, it entered what was called a suborbital flight, it was about five minutes above the atmosphere, about five. minutes of weightlessness but that was enough for the United States to say that it had put men in space or that it had put a man in space there was a second suborbital uh flown by gus grissom shortly after uh al shephard's flight um the crowds that gathered to watch these launches were a sign of what this meant for the United States.
This was not just a technological achievement. It was a geopolitical achievement. This was the United States in a bipolar world with the post-war American capitalist system on one end and the communist system. on the other, and was largely seen as a war of two ideologies. What we are seeing here were opinions of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962. This one-man Mercury program led to the two-man Gemini program um this was the program that allowed the astronauts test the technologies they would need to reach the moon encounter docking um spacewalks long duration spaceflights the gemini 7 crew jim lovell and frank borman spent two weeks sealed in a gemini spacecraft What we are seeing here is the encounter between the ships spacecraft Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, the first time two spacecraft met in orbit, which was considered a nearly impossible feat to achieve.
Spacewalking in its early iterations wasn't a sure thing if we're looking at Gene Cernan here and it's hard to say. This was the jet. It could be the Germany Nine spacewalk in which Gene Cernan labeled the spacewalk as hell. He overheated. He couldn't see with his spacesuit on. The helmet advisor of him clouded but. It was a way to learn what spacewalking entailed and that it wasn't just the happy drift that people thought was going forward. Of course, starting in 1981 it was the shuttle program. This was the point at which the United States decided that we were going to uh. making a long-term commitment to low-Earth orbit, which sounded less blustery than the space shuttle or later the Apollo programs, but this was our chance to live in space.
This was the space shuttle that was equal parts elegant and wonderfully simple. a space truck that ran as it said the shuttle runs to and from Earth orbit to bring crews to bring hardware uh launched some of the largest spacecraft in history um the Galileo probe uh that orbited Jupiter came out of the body of a space shuttle uh the Hubble space telescope came out of the body of a space shuttle um 135 such missions made space flight routine uh since the grounding of the space shuttle we have been a nation that has flown into space with the help From the Russians aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft The Soyuz has been flying since 1966 It is a kind of Volkswagen Beetle from the space program It is tough It is reliable It is almost indestructible It is a fast cosmic sports car and it is a great machine going up and a great trip Going down , Scott Kelly, who spent a year in space, said that landing in a Soyuz spacecraft is a bit like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel that's on fire, and yet here we see Christina Koch returning from space after having spent almost a year in space.
What we are seeing here appears to be an early iteration of the Aries five constellation. This is a simulation of what the United States' moon return program was going to be. It was started in 19 in 2004 by the George W Bush administration and the goal was to have human boots back on the moon as early as 2015, if there was one it would consist of two boosters, one which was a relatively small booster and the other to carry to the astronauts to space and another the aries 5 that would carry a crew that would carry cargo rather this was a launch of the ares one the first iteration of the first of the constellation programs and here again there are simulations of what the lunar vehicle would have been the Unfortunately , the Constellation program was a victim of what often happens in Washington, which is that as administrations change, so do objectives.
The Constellation program had come a long way when the Bush administration transitioned to the Obama administration and the Obama administration decided to focus less on a return to the moon and more on the commercial crew program with the commercial sector uh the boeing starliner and the spacex dragon uhtaking on the job of flying astronauts to and from low Earth orbit so that the space agency uh the space program so that NASA could We focus on deep space exploration and this is where we are now with the commercial crew program, taking care of from low Earth orbit, and NASA hoping to return to the Moon with the Artemis program and the new lunar lander being developed for the Artemis three program.
Now companies have been chosen to build that lunar lander Blue Origin, which is the company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Spacex and Dianetica, and all three are working on building a lunar lander, meanwhile, what we are seeing here is the new Shepard. rocket that blue origin hopes to use to send paying customers into suborbital space much like Alan Shepard's first flight to space uh here we're looking at the Virgin Galactic spacecraft similarly, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Company hopes to launch paying customers in suborbital space flights that will give them about five minutes of weightlessness above the atmosphere um ultimately elon musk and what the images we're seeing here hopes to launch his 150 foot tall stainless steel rocket ship onto the surface of the moon um this seems unlikely, but nasa believes enough in this that this is one of the space spacex is one of the companies that got a contract to help develop a lunar lander this is musk's next big venture and the starship is where it hopes to leave its mark by landing on the surface of the moon and finally on Mars now we return to a live image of the platform and it seems that things have become a little clearer, we will see what NASA has to tell us about where it is the weather, but the sky is looking a little bluer, the rain seems a little light and there is still a chance we can take off today at 3:22 p.m.
We are like the rest of the world watching this, this imminent liftoff today, I am waiting for what the NASA reports will be. Weather update. The weather will be the final determinant. As we can see from this angle, it looks like the skies are clearing now. those are some pretty formidable clouds that the spacecraft would have to launch through, but there are some pretty promising blue patches among the clouds and the best news is that the sky seems, the air seems generally clearer, generally less cloudy, less foggy and generally less rainy, so we're waiting for a weather update from NASA which we're told is coming momentarily, so we're here with Terry Verts, the veteran. of two space flights two weeks aboard a space shuttle mission helping to build the international space station and then days aboard the space station involving three spacewalks a stint as station commander a trip taken by sawyers the Russian soyuz rocket , so you're a veteran of two very different types of spacecraft, the space shuttle, which is just a big machine, and some kind of sports car like the soyuz, what do you think it would be like to fly well with the crew dragon?
I think it will be much more similar to the Soyuz, it is approximately the same size. I noticed when I flew on the space shuttle that it was like a muscle car, it rumbled and made a lot of noise and slowly took its time getting in. In space it's similar to a Saturn V in terms of weight and thrust, whereas the Soyuz was bam and you just get up and go, of course it was a nuclear missile, a Soviet missile, so they didn't want those things to be They will stay there and look pretty. They wanted them to launch quickly so that the falcon would look much more like the soyuz.
All the credit goes to them if this launch goes as we hope, but they are several years late and the United States is already nine years late. Without the ability to fly astronauts into space in our own spacecraft, we're used to thinking that going to low-Earth orbit is pretty routine. Why is it taking so long? Why is it so difficult to put a spacecraft into orbit? Well, it's easy. The answer is that space is difficult and it takes time and you have to, you know, work on all the technical things, but the reality is between John Glenn or Alan Shepard's first flight and Neil and Buzz on the Moon, which lasted eight years and a half, and people I know there were no cell phones to help us send emails and we had no history, so we were faster in the '60s than we are today and this is Spacex, which is probably one of the fastest rocket companies of all time.
I mean, they do things quickly. Well, part of the problem occurred when Congress simply did not fund the program enough, which takes some of the air out of this. This is a privately funded thing because it was actually a government funded project and when the government didn't fully fund it. uh that really slowed it down, part of it is that problems happened and there have been several, you know, serious technical problems along the way, but I, when I was in space, the Spacex cargo capsule showed up a couple of times and brought my clothes inside. and food and supplies and um, that program happened very, very quickly, basically I think it was in 2008, when the cargo contract was really going on and by 2012 they were delivering things to the space station, so spacex has shown that it can do things much faster. than the old government model, but it is still not a perfect system and it still takes us longer in the 2010s than in the 1960s.
There is another competitor in this race, of course, Boeing and Boeing's spacecraft is its CST 100 Starliner, which will also be carrying astronauts to and from the international space station now that they had a small setback on their last uncrewed mission they were unable to reach the international space station. What do you think of Boeing's chances of getting its own crews? ? there and how fast you think they will be able to fly well. I think Boeing is going to do this. It will also take many months. You know this won't happen next month. Boeing is going to do it. to take some time before they did it, they had software problems and when I was a test pilot I worked mainly on software programs and I always made fun of the engineers, it's just software, guys, you should be able to do this and the reality is The Software is often the hardest, longest, and most complicated part of any aerospace program, but let me ask you this question, Jeff, do you want to check your Myspace account later today?
The reality is that Myspace was the first to market correctly. but now everyone is using Facebook well, so just the fact that you are first to market is sometimes good and sometimes irrelevant, so Boeing is definitely a player in this market, if you know the iss program is a quite small market. It's only one or two launches a year. For each company it's really not a big program, so the real market will be if we ever get to a place where there are private space stations like the Bigelow space station or if we ever start manufacturing legitimately in space then companies like spacex and Boeing and maybe others eventually Sierra Nevada or who knows then they will launch four or five ten capsules a year and not just one a year and then it gets interesting so the government is sowing that market, but with luck. it will eventually become something bigger and if it becomes something bigger if we have private space stations in orbit um being served by private spacecraft uh will it be vacations will it be academic will it be industrial will it be all of the above?
I think the space station has a place in the academic market. You know it's something subsidized by the government. That is the place for universities or companies to conduct research. The space station is the place for scientific projects, but it is not a place for manufacturing, so if we ever find out. how to make 3D prints of human organs or make microelectronics and massive scale so you can make them better in weightlessness than on earth if any of those technologies actually come then that's going to have to go to the bigelow or you know another private uh space so one of the markets is manufacturing and I think tourism is also a very interesting idea.
There are several space tourism companies, you know, if you want, Virgin and Blue Origin will probably fly to the first one, maybe this year, maybe next year, but those are They're both just suborbital, they go up and down five minutes later to have Orbital space tourism would be amazing, but that would require a place like the ISS that isn't exactly set up for tourists, it's a government thing, so I think that would be a really interesting market, of course, it will probably be more expensive than a retired astronaut or a journalist could afford. Yes, I have a feeling I'll just be looking at someone else's vacation photos.
They are exactly family movies. um elon musk is a character, I think so musk himself would admit that he's a bit of a character um and there's been some friction between him and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine um in the last year or so um, are you worried about that? Or do you just see it as a kind of upheaval in the space business? I'm not a problem. I thought you were going to say there's been some friction between him and everyone. This is the world we live in. I'm much more concerned or excited about a rocket ship that works or doesn't work than I am about, you know, some tweets that go off uh, Elon has admitted that he's the kind of king of self-inflicted wounds if I was a shareholder, maybe I'd like my CEO to focus more on shareholder value and not on Twitter, but that's between him and his shareholders, so the things that I would worry about as an astronaut if I were flying and No, I'm retired, I don't work at NASA and you know that I already finished.
Is the rocket going to work? Will the exhaust motor work? Will parachutes work? Will the meeting system work? Is the software going to work? the computers are going to work, all of that is what I would really worry about and that's where I think having some transparency and making sure that I'm open and honest with the public is most important. Some of this other stuff is just show. I think right now, before we lived here, you and I were talking a little bit about the difference between flying, say, a Sawyers and flying the new Spacex crew dragon and there's certainly no diss to Bob Benkin or Doug Early, the astronauts who will be on board. the crew dragon, but you said there is a little less flying with this spacecraft than when you are on the stick of a soyuz or a space shuttle, tell me a little about that, how is that possible, so actually the details ?
They are proprietary and I have never worked at Spacex or that wasn't my job when I was at NASA so I don't know all the details but from what I understand there is basically no flight involved, everything is automated from launch to maneuvers in orbit docking is automated during entry there is nothing the crew can do the capsule does everything there is not, as far as I understand, there is not even a control stick that you normally have to fly a plane or ship space um they're going to do some manual maneuvers during docking just to demonstrate that the system works because this is a test flight, but it's like a touch panel so they're going to have a screen and, you know, they're going to turn left and then the shuttle turns to the left and then it goes up and the capsule goes up flying on the space shuttle, you know, it's designed in the '70s, it was the best flying machine of all time and you could fly it, you know, during launch.
I flew. into orbit I flew um you know, I find and I flew around the space station with the control stick and back into the atmosphere I flew it with a control stick and like an airplane, so the shuttle from the point of view of a test pilot there will never be anything as cool as the space shuttle because you could actually fly it but we are in a new era in the 2020s and you know we are going to have driverless cars I think by the end of the century you know our grandchildren are going to think Come back and listen grandpa, what was it like to have the car you had?
You know, that's how things are. The goal of this is not to blow it up. The goal of this is to get people from Earth to the space station and back. Well, just a logistical cog in the space station program, as you mentioned, we've been doing this since John Glenn and Yuri Gagarin when they were in their early 60s and well, this is just a more modern version of that and this is not the goal like I said. I have to take people to space, the goal is what they do after they get the space, that's the interesting part, so this is kind of like the rental car at the airport, it's not your vacation destination, we're talking about 2024, uh, to have. boots on the moon the first woman and the next man um candidly um are you optimistic about it?
Do you think we can? We can reach that date. Well, the business team program, if you will, was actually born in 2009 when the Obama administrationtook And Charlie and Laurie Garver ran the space agency. They announced that Constellation was canceled the week I launched into space in 2010 and here it is 2020. So that's a decade, yes, and we still haven't sent people to just Earth orbit. in a capsule, that's right and we'll be on the moon in four years, so I'm a realistic person, that doesn't seem realistic at all. However, in the '60s we did it right and were able to make it happen.
Yeah, but it's not like that, you know, it's not 1960s NASA, so it's going to be something that's going to be very difficult. I think we also need to say: Do you know why we're doing that? And I think if it's part of a strategic plan to use the moon as a testing ground to get to Mars if it were part of a truly strategic plan, then you would do the things that you need to do to fulfill that strategic plan instead of just saying here's something random and we have to do it. The other thing is that the debt that we're accumulating right now, Jeff, is staggering and it's just changed the course of the next decade or two, which is going to happen in 2020, so we're going to have to be very strategic with the money that we spend.
OK, so I think there is a new reality that we are right about and that brings us to the always somewhat delicate area of ​​politics. For our viewers, you mentioned the constellation, which was, of course, the lunar exploration program that was established under the George W Bush administration and there was quite a bit of progress, a good amount of progress was made on that um and then it was canceled under the obama administration obama and the obama administration had several policies of its own, including the asteroid redirection mission bringing an asteroid closer to the earth and then studying it now under the Trump administration we are again on a lunar course.
Are you worried that whatever happens in November, will the Trump administration end then or will it end in four years? That's not much time. Either way, are you worried that we will once again change course and start over and have a new program that will have to start from scratch? One of the things I did while I was an astronaut was fly and then visit Congress and the White House. I've been there several times and now that I'm retired from being an astronaut, I've spoken at the national space council. The vice president. I talk to people often and the only message I always have for them is that it's not about rocket science it's about political science um and unless you and the way you run a space program don't change what the last guy did because you don't like him and that's what which we have been doing for over a decade.
So the political system is broken in many ways. NASA is just one percent of a truly broken political system. So I think the hope for me is that private companies can come up with a plan. I think if we can figure out how to do it. public partnerships, right, and I know Mr. Breinstein has been very focused on that and I know this is a priority for them, but you know, let Blue Origin just let them go, uh, let Spacex go, let Sierra go Nevada, let these other companies, Boeing and Lockheed, go that they have. they can do things privately and when they're allowed to do that, they can also be more efficient, so I think if we can figure out how to let these companies do things and let the government do things like sign treaties, you know, bring in Russia . in Europe bring other countries to work, eventually we will need nuclear power, the government will have to do that, Spacex is not going to make the nuclear reactor, so yes, I think if we figure out how to do it right, that can help us. moderate, tone down some of these political ups and downs that we have because otherwise it will never happen and you know the rocket ship was really born in 2005 when George W gave his vision for space exploration, right?
I was going to use cheaper motors. They weren't actually going to have a capsule, it was just going to be the cargo ship, it was part of an integrated plan, yeah, and then that got canceled and changed, and that was 15 years ago and it's still years and years away. from people watching, so yes, I remember at that time in 2005 when it was announced that the target date was footprints on the moon, maybe as early as 2015. Well, that was five years ago, we still haven't returned to orbit low terrestrial, I think it was aerospace. The magazine did an article I was one of the next astronauts on the moon I was one of the guys who introduced I think Megan Banken and Karen Nyberg Actually yes, those wives I think they were there too Would you adapt to going to the neighborhood again ?
You know what to go to the moon, yes, of course, one. I had this: do I stay or leave? Calculation that I did at NASA and that I had done everything that needed to be done. He was the station commander and the shuttle pilot and blah blah. Blah, so there are other things I want to do in life, but I always said if I could go make a movie in space, that's something I'd like to do, yeah, yeah, well now there's talk of that happening , there is talk about who is filming on board the international plane. space station, so maybe you can co-star with tom cruise.
Well, is there anything else I forgot to ask you that you think our viewers would want to know what's at stake this week and what it's like to be Bob Banking and Dunkirk Doug Hurley getting on this machine. I can say that when I flew on my two flights it was really exciting. The first time I got ready for my first flight, it ended up being canceled due to weather and we took off again the next day. The first time I was there it was like I was out of my element. I was nervous. I was wearing this big suit even though I practiced it.
It was really good. This is a little different, but the second night I went out I felt much more comfortable. and it was almost as if he had already done it, even though he hadn't, so the nerves got better that second time. Bob and Doug aren't going to have that because they both flew, you know, they flew on several shuttles. missions it's been a decade since they flew yes but I don't think that's going to be a problem also on my first flight my first two days were miserable I had the worst headache of my life I was taking ibuprofen and I was on my third morning I remember Steve Robinson saying, Hey, how are you feeling?
And I was like God, I feel like shit and then literally a few minutes later it was like a light switch and suddenly I was fine and then I was fine the rest of the day. the moment, uh, on my second flight, even though it was four or five years later, I felt good like your body just needs a couple of days to figure out what the hell just happened, your inner ear fluids and everything, yeah, for some reason your brain calculates I said it and at least in my case I have heard others say the same thing.
You know they would. I felt good, so I guess you feel good because this isn't your first space flight, right? He once told me something about um uh walking in space about what it's like to walk and go out into that void and every one of your rational brain cells tells you you can't fall, you're in orbit, physics keeps you up there, look down. and there's nothing below you except a planet 250 miles below, describe that experience a little bit, so on my first spacewalk, uh, when I came out, it was time to be on Earth, but the sun, the station was exposed in the sunlight, so that really helped because when it's daytime on earth you see the earth go by and I several of my colleagues had said man, I had vertigo when I went out, I didn't think I would, but I wasn't sure because it was my first time, so I came out first.
What I did, I took there was a scrap strap on the side, I took it out, I attached it to a handrail and I let it go, so I was out there, I was in outer space floating above the earth and I just looked down, looked at around me and I went. Ok, I'm fine, I just wanted to get my brain to behave and make sure it was okay, yeah, personally, I don't like ledges, um, I hate Stan, I hate standing on the edge of a building or something, and like this every time I am. On a bridge or a building I always walk to the edge, yeah, just to force myself to do it because I don't like it, it's almost like I have to beat my brain into submission and yeah, you know, but I still feel like I'm like I was in a fighter plane flying upside down.
I'm okay because I'm tied up and it's okay if I'm standing on a ledge, so that was it, that was my One way to try to get my brain to be like you described so well, every rational brain cell knows that you're okay, but it's the emotional spells of the brain those who don't necessarily know that you are going to publish a book, uh, soon tell me a little. A little bit about that, I'm doing well, we're both doing well, but my next book will be called How to Be an Astronaut. It is a collection of 51 short essays.
The goal is to laugh and say wow, those are the two things I hope to achieve. so, I wrote it myself, no ghostwriters, and it's some basic stuff like how do you learn to be a doctor, how do you learn to launch on a space shuttle, uh, it's some crazy stuff, like what do you do if the engines don't work? do they work. It doesn't light up and you're stuck in orbit or what do you do with a dead body if your crewmate dies? or you know, there are aliens and therefore there are some things that are expected, some things that are not expected, you can pick them up and read it, any chapter, it doesn't have to go in order, it's just a collection of essays and I think it will be very fun, it's a good beach read, when you go to the beach this summer, it's coming out on September 15, so now they've started doing pre-sales.
Big congratulations on that and thank you very much for spending time with us, Terry Virs, veteran of two space flights and former ISS commander. Not bad, thanks Jeff, looking forward to this release. Thank you so much. Welcome back, for those of you who are just joining us, we are now minus one hour, one minute and 40 seconds away from launch. We are waiting for a weather update from NASA. At this moment the skies look clearer, it seems like the torrential rains from before. The day is over, the winds don't seem too challenging, so the hope is that we will see the swing arm, the access arm that connects the spacecraft to the gantry, move back soon.
It will be at 2 25 in about five minutes, uh, an air force. a flyover carrying the president and the first lady who will be here to see the launch and then to make some comments at the vehicle assembly building uh the vice president who was here yesterday will not be here or who was here on Wednesday rather during the Um , the first launch attempt will not be here today. President Trump will not be the first Astor. The first president to see a live launch, although he will be one of the first. The only other two were President Nixon, who in November 1969 saw the Apollo.
Launch of the Apollo 12 crew for the second moon landing and much later, on October 2, 1998, President Clinton watched John Glenn make his grand return to flight. Here in this shot we see former Vice President, former President Lyndon Johnson and then Vice President Spiro Agno. at the launch of Apollo 11, but President Nixon, who had been in office for only six months at that time, had not attended, he did, as you can see, he attended the return of the crew, he was aboard the USS Hornet when they were recovered. and this can be seen here, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, watching the launch of Senator Glenn and here is President Michelle Obama visiting the space station or the space center at the beginning of the decade, again, here There are images of the launch. um and for those people who are joining us um on youtube uh here we have the presidential flyover uh air force one uh bringing the president and the first lady uh to the launch facility where you will see the lift off which we hope to be coming now in 58 minutes and 52 seconds for those of you joining us on youtube there is a comments section um on youtube we would love to answer any questions uh answer any comments have a question that came from a viewer earlier was how long will it take for the astronauts get to space and the remarkable thing is that this is only a 12 minute trip from the surface of the earth in a 1 g gravity sphere, uh, gravity well to low earth orbit at zero g, uh, the astronauts, uh.
Bob Benkin and Doug Hurley will make that transition in just 12 minutes now it will take them 19 more hours inside their spacecraft to reach the international space station, but there are only 12 minutes left to go from Earth to orbit, it is a very fast speed. run once the engines start these guys are really hauling the mail on astronaut day uh it's complicated um we're looking at some scenes here from wednesday when the uh when the launch was canceled uh this is bob benkin and that's doug hurley and Bob Benkin is dressed in the same suit room that was used in the Apollo program and some of that equipment, some of that green equipment on the back wall is the original hardware that was used back then and is still used. now it's a relatively simple thing, you can see those old analog gauges, once the crew is dressed, they are ready to get to the launch pad, they carry them, as you can see, the umbilicals here, they haveair conditioning systems, since these, uh.
Spacesuits are essentially self-contained spacecraft, they need their own type of cooling system. We see here the two astronauts talking with Elon Musk and on the right, and Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, on the left, these are the two men who are there. the most responsible for what will happen today, the strike happened on Wednesday, very nominally, that's how it's supposed to look, lots of waves and kisses thrown to friends and family, the backup team is also there with them, usually , the backup teams are there until the last moment always ready to be available in case an astronaut did not fly here they were boarding the golden wing tesla preparing to leave for the launch pad saying goodbye to their wives and children again, you notice that they are standing behind a yellow line and here there is just a pantomime of hugging uh this was the case even before the covid pandemic uh astronauts have always been put in some kind of pre-flight quarantine uh to prevent them from carrying pathogens to the international space station, but particularly in, in the age of greed, we don't want this new virus to do it, take off from the ground and go into space, a correction from earlier, that was not today's Air Force One flyover that We show you, which were images from Wednesday. apparently there won't be a flyover today, the president and first lady will arrive on Air Force One, but there won't be the same kind of flyover for the press and spectators, the connected crew, their uh, uh. environmental control systems in their spacesuits to a similar environmental system in the Tesla on the way to the launch pad, we're told they listened to a mixtape on the way that featured blues brothers AC DC and the star-studded Ponlos de humor for this most American mission.
The first time American astronauts will launch aboard an American rocket from American soil since July 2011. When the shuttle Atlantis made the final trip to orbit. to service the international space station, we are now at t minus 51 minutes and 55 seconds and we just received word from NASA that the escape system, the rockets that would move the spacecraft away from a falcon 9 that explodes in the event of an emergency, they are armed, which is a good sign, it means they are preparing to launch. Much more important is the fueling that will take place about 30 minutes before launch. Loading those 76,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and kerosene onto the spacecraft or rocket is also underway.
Tracking to continue on time, so both good signs, again, we're still about an hour away. The weather can do a lot of weird things in an hour and we have no way of knowing for sure if this mission will start. time, but those are two very promising signs that they are moving forward with these two very important milestones: assembling the escape system and fueling the rocket in advance of launch to enter the clean room, which was the last place we saw them of foot before I climbed inside the dragon and again a wider shot of launch complex 39a, where we are an hour away from takeoff and I think we are only a couple of minutes away from the survey we are going to hear before they start charge the propellant again at two. -Stage a rocket there and oh my gosh guys the weather doesn't look that bad I mean obviously that's not an official forecast uh but it doesn't look as bad as it did on Wednesday we've got a little better odds so what uh.
There's the countdown clock, let's pause to listen to that calm. We've received a number of questions from viewers about how we're keeping the space coronavirus-free. An important lesson was learned in 1968 when all the Apollo 7 astronauts were trapped. Colds on a miserable 11-day mission, uh, covet, are much more serious than a cold, but the protocols that were implemented back then are still in place today to keep any spacecraft disease-free, so let's take a look to how the space is maintained. coveted free in this time of pandemic there is no better way to escape the coronavirus that stalks the world than to leave the world all together.
Astronauts Bob Benkin and Doug Hurley will do so when they take off aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft to fly to the International Space Station, but before leaving they had to make sure they didn't carry the virus with them, which meant quarantine or health stabilization. crew, as NASA calls it for decades, NASA astronauts have quarantined themselves before traveling to space, but it wasn't always that way in In the early days of the Mercury and Gemini programs, the idea of ​​isolating One- and two-man crews before flight were considered ill-advised and even impossible, there was simply too much work to do for them to worry about colds and flus, all that. changed after the Apollo 7 flight, when astronauts Wali Sharad Don Isley and Walt Cunningham suffered severe head colds at the beginning of what turned out to be 11 miserable days in space at the time of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. , a prior period of 21 days. -a flight quarantine protocol was implemented, the crew was scheduled to take off on December 21, 1968, which should have meant quarantine from December 1 onwards, but president lyndon johnson had other ideas and in the The night of December 9th held a dinner at the White House in honor of the crew and the rest of NASA, that meant a late start to the quarantine with the 21 days reduced to just 12.
For the first three of the six successful missions Apollo 11, 12 and 14 lunar landing there was not only one pre-flight quarantine, but three more. Isolation weeks later to ensure that the astronauts did not carry any lunar pathogens with them at the time of Apollos 15, 16 and 17, NASA assured that lunar pathogens did not exist in the first place lifted the post-flight blocking part of three crews Those who flew to Skylab America's first space station in the 1970s had a longer pre-flight quarantine period of three weeks in line with the longest period they would spend in space. Shuttle crews had a break of just one week.
Before the flight, quarantine three days in crew quarters at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and four in similar accommodations at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the coronavirus in general Benken and Hurley were assigned a longer quarantine period of 12 days, five days in home isolation and seven in Cape Canaveral, they and the few technicians and medical personnel who have been in contact with them during the quarantine also had to have two negative coronavirus tests for the crew to be certified fit to fly where As humans go, at least some germs get hooked. travels with us the key is to ensure that as few as possible accompany us into space and here we are finally singing the scene in which the swinging arm moves away from the spaceship uh bob benkin and doug hurley are now alone with the exception, for course of the tens of millions of people around the world watching their mission and the hundreds and even thousands of ground controllers across the country and around the world who are helping to keep them safe, so in that sense no They are not alone at all but physically they are there without their support team, without their clean room team, they are just two men in that spaceship preparing to take off, yes, now we are at minus 39 minutes and only seven seconds, we are waiting for a shot From the presidential motorcade, the president and first lady left the White House today at 12:10 p.m. and they arrived at the shuttle landing facility at 2:25 just 20 minutes ago, so they will be moved to the um operational support building, where they will be. uh from where they'll be watching the flight uh as the skies continue to clear, the weather continues to look like it's going to cooperate and it just needs to cooperate for another 38 minutes and 25 seconds after which Florida is free to do whatever it does.
Florida does it, which is for the weather to become turbulent again, we just need these skies, these conditions to stay below 40 minutes for now, and as we watch this rocket and the spacecraft on the launch pad, it's worth it Mention again how extraordinarily well designed and engineered the machines are. The Falcon 9 rocket itself is 229 feet tall. It is powered by nine Merlin engines using RP1 rocket fuel, which sounds pretty glamorous, except that the RP1 rocket fuel is practically It is just high intensity kerosene and is mixed with liquid oxygen as an oxidizer. Each of the nine engines produces one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds of thrust for a total of 1.125 million pounds.
The Falcon 9 first flew on June 4, 2010. Having been an operational vehicle for a decade, this will be the 84th launch of a Falcon 9 and significantly one of the things that sets the Falcon 9 apart from virtually all others, In reality, of all the other expendable rockets that fly, when its first stage is spent it is not simply thrown into the ocean like a once-used, disposable piece of hardware, but the first stage lands on a barge near the space center and so far there have been 44 successful landings and 31 of These early stages have been successfully restored and the Dragon spacecraft itself in which the astronauts will fly.
Think of it as the Apollo-era spaceship on steroids. It is about the same width as the Apollo, about 13 feet wide, but is twice as tall at 26.7 feet tall, has significantly more living space than the Apollo, which carried three men, and something close to comfort and moderate discomfort. This spacecraft is capable of carrying a crew of up to seven men and women, although there will only be two, obviously this time, there are 16 thrusters around the spacecraft that allow it to perform the delicate choreographic maneuvers it will need to dock with the space station. international to reorient yourself for re-entry and get everything done.
Of the other maneuvers necessary during space flights, so far there have been 22 launches of a dragon spacecraft, the cargo version of a dragon, and 21 visits to the international space station, almost all of them are automatic, obviously, the astronauts are At any point, the instrument panels are touch screens very different from the mechanical switches and dials of the old Apollo era and the crew is perfectly capable, eminently capable, of flying the spacecraft on their own if any of them automatic systems do not work. When they return home, they will land under the power of two small parachutes and four main guns.
The dragon, like the first stage of the falcons, the falcon rocket is reusable, this is all in an attempt to ensure that prices can be kept down and assembly can be completed and what we have just seen here what we are seeing here is a escape system test that was carried out last year to demonstrate that the dragon could successfully separate from a rocket that was threatening to explode. We are working with two reliable machines today, two machines that have a very proven track record. The only thing they have not done until today, we hope, is transport human beings.
And we're 33 minutes from the point where that. An important milestone can finally be crossed. The presidential motorcade is approaching. We should be able to see that soon the weather seems calm, as you can see in the inset image on the left, the sky is quite blue and as you can see on the top right. In the corner of that windsock, that orange windsock at the top of a light pole doesn't seem to be pushed around by much wind at all, so we have what appears from these decidedly unscientific measurements here, jeez clear and low winds, and this is what the president would like to see and the caravan should momentarily reach this curve that we can see in the image here.
The president will see the launch. It will arrive about eight minutes before the launch time at 3:25 for the uh or rather. at 3:17 for the 322 launch and then we will go to the vehicle assembly building at 5 p.m. to address NASA workers and several people responsible for what we hope will be today's launch. You see the caravan arriving now. This is part of a long tradition of presidents making sure to be present at launches or recoveries so that politics is involved. There's certainly nothing wrong with doing the touchdown dance when something momentous like this happens under your administration, but furthermore, every president since President Eisenhower, who was the president who founded NASA, knows that space travel has It has to do as much with technology and exploration as with politics and financing, and it is important that the presidents of any administration are there to wave the flag. show the colors to make it clear that theyare behind this company traveling to space is expensive traveling to space is dangerous and it is important that presidents show that they support this program and that they support it and President Trump is There is a lot today, to enjoy what seems like it could be a launch successful, which is now only 29 minutes and 15 seconds away and it appears as if fuel supply to the rocket has already begun.
You can see some of that uh condensation. liquid oxygen which is part of the fuel mixture that sublimates out of the spacecraft. This is the first raw release to use what is known as the load-and-start process. Typically, the rocket engine is filled with fuel and only then does the crew board. That was considered a safer way to do it, but with the design of the Falcon 9 rocket, the supercooled, highly condensed fuel can't stay in the tanks for long before it starts to lose its efficiency, at least its efficiency within the system. designed for the Falcon 9 and for that reason the fuel is kept in the tanks for the shortest time possible.
Consider this a little like when the horses charge at the gate at any horse race. Horses won't tolerate a gate for long, which means once they're there, the race is about to begin. The fuel in this rocket will not tolerate sitting idle in a tank for long. That doesn't mean it's going to explode, it just means it's going to lose some of its um some of its. energy potential um and for that reason once the spacecraft once the fuel is in the rocket it will go away the astronauts um boarded so long ago um hours ago now um which is a big part of the process that requires a lot of work. last minute to get the environmental systems up and running, so that the crew's checklists are reviewed to drill down what the final maneuvers will be.
Crews are very used to spending time on their backs on their spacecraft, as Doug Hurley said in the previous piece we saw on NASA for their shuttle flights, they were used to spending up to four hours on their backs. One thing about fuel. It's interesting to think that we think of rockets as big machines that are then filled with fuel in the same way that a car is. Your car is 95 percent of the vehicle's weight and you add a few extra pounds when you fill your tank. A rocket is something very different. A rocket is something like an egg with a shell, since the rocket itself is actually the lightest part of the whole thing, it is the fuel that weighs the most.
An unfueled Saturn V rocket weighed about a million and a half pounds with full fuel, it weighed six and a half million pounds, so the fuel was more than three times the weight of the rocket, um, think. of a rocket, an empty canister which is a machine used to process the fuel that fills it, the loading and firing process is underway now, it should be completed not long before launch, it doesn't take that long to pump out even 76,000 gallons . of fuel in a 229 foot machine, so with this fuel supply it means we are in the final stages, just 24 minutes and 40 seconds away from launch and we have a question from a viewer about why the launch time is so accurate why we have what is called an instant launch: either you launch a 322 or you don't launch it at all, why can't we delay it 20 minutes?
In fact, if you were launching to any old orbit with any old spacecraft, you could do that. It wouldn't make a huge difference but it's a very delicate ballet between the international space station being in a 51 degree orbit with respect to the equator 250 miles above the earth. It's a very delicate dance between that spacecraft and the dragon that will have to launch from 28 degrees, then move quickly to a 51-degree tilt, and then orbit the Earth 13 times to reach the space station to essentially cross orbit. Think of it as a series of spirals that the crew's dragon will launch. and has to spiral carefully until it reaches the orbit of the space station.
If you launch it even a second or two early or too late, you lose that intersection point, so basically the crew dragon is pointing to where the space station will be in 19 hours. and in a few minutes you can't miss that launch by more than a second or two, otherwise you'll fall short or you'll fly away from the space station and it's worth reminding ourselves and our uh it's worth reminding ourselves of that. and to our viewers um one last time uh about what spacex had to do to get to this point um this is a momentous day for uh for a private company that launches astronauts that launches NASA astronauts and they had to go through a lot to ensure that their systems were reliable, that their hardware was reliable, and that they could safely move crews away from a rocket that was threatening to explode.
The two big tests they had to go through were the so-called platform abort test when the spacecraft was launching. platform and ignited its escape engines to demonstrate that it could escape a rocket that was threatening to go awry and then a launch abort test in which a Dragon crew vehicle was launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket and the Falcon 9 rocket was deliberately destroyed. One instance before it was destroyed, the dragon spacecraft was able to fire up its escape engines and take the astronauts to safety in case any kind of eventuality occurred today and here we are looking at this onboard platform test, This was a test that the engines that took that spacecraft off the ground would be the ones that would pull it away from a faulty rocket if any type of accident occurred, it would separate from the service module and release its parachutes and the astronauts would then descend safely to the ocean.
This, of course, is one of the reasons also because Cape Canaveral is where we launch from, we launch east over the ocean, which means that the antioxidants with the rockets will fall harmlessly into the ocean. ocean and not towards population centers, it is also the reason why Russia, which does not have the same access to the same type of warm water coast, at a low and low latitude, launches from Baikonur, which is very much, a desert , here it seems that we are looking at the onboard launch test in which a Falcon 9 was launched and then deliberately destroyed.
Let's see if that's really the footage we're looking at, but this was further evidence to show that the spacecraft could safely move away. a rocket that was in danger and yes, here we see the spacecraft separating, under these circumstances the systems on board would have sensed that the rocket was in trouble, they would have moved the astronauts away and that explosion of the rocket would have occurred far behind where the rocket was. The astronauts were on previous spacecraft, the Mercury and Apollo spacecraft, there were escape towers at the top of the spacecraft that would move the spacecraft away from the rocket on the dragon.
There are escape rockets at the base of the dragon itself that push it around. away from a rocket in danger, either way it keeps astronauts safe. The loading of the stage two locks has begun and we see on the left here many dignitaries on the balcony of the OSB building watching as the launch is about to take place. There are astronauts here. There are military people here, General John Raymond, the head of the newly launched space force is here. This is instead of the much busier observation posts that would normally be where the launches were observed from. but for the covid pandemic, of course, looking at this balcony, we don't see many people wearing face masks, we don't see many people, social distancing, this coronavirus may not be the immediate news today, but if this launch is done with Successful in 13 minutes and 14 seconds, ignition will have occurred, 12 minutes later, the astronauts will be in orbit and then we will all have to return to our daily lives, which includes the coronavirus. should not be intended to diminish today's success, but it is a reminder that we are on the verge of doing it, it feels like we are on the verge of doing it, we can achieve something extraordinary in a time of extraordinary problems and the launch will be a nice break from that, but It's also a reminder that we need to continue to take the virus seriously and if you're just joining us, we're now 11 minutes away from launching t-mon, that's 10 minutes and 54 seconds, the rocket is fueled as you can.
See from the vapor sublimating on the side of the rocket, that's liquid oxygen, that's super cold liquid oxygen, which is one of the two fuels used, super cooled cryogenics, liquid oxygen actually adds weight a The rocket not simply because of the weight of the fuel, but actually causes humid Florida air to condense against the side of the rocket and form a thin layer of ice. Saturn V and the time it remained on the launch pad used to gain around 1200 pounds. just with the ice forming on the side of the rocket, there's probably a little bit of that happening on the falcon 9 rocket today, the fuel supply is full, the astronauts are on what is effectively the terminal countdown, now just waiting for the ignition and waiting for the precise moment when the international space station orbiting at 400 kilometers high at approximately 27,300 kilometers per hour moves precisely towards the correct position for the um spacex falcon 9 rocket to ignite its engines and begin what will be a 19-hour chase between the two astronauts on the dragon and the station. which will culminate tomorrow morning shortly before noon with a docking at the station.
It has been a great honor. Know that we are with you. Have an amazing flight and enjoy those views of our beautiful planet. Thank you, jay, uh, it's absolutely an honor for us to be a part of. of this great effort to get the United States back into the launch business, we will talk to you from orbit, thank you all, thank you for those words, fly and enjoy those views of our beautiful planet, beginning stage one and stage two of the tvc hydraulic press. Engine cooldown has begun, the engine hydraulics are under pressure and on the lookout it's hard to see in the image we have, but President Trump and Vice President Pence are there along with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, it is not clear if Elon Musk had a Spacex is with them, but the president and vice president are present, the first lady is also there and Jim Bridenstine, a former congressman appointed as NASA administrator by President Trump in 2017, Replacing the previous administrator, Charlie Bolden, it is Administrator Bridenstine who has been Now tasked with overseeing the commercial crew program, as well as the much more ambitious Artemis program, which aims to bring the first woman and next man to the surface of the Moon in 2024, but today their minds are less on the Moon. and more about this immediate launch that is now just four minutes away vehicle tanks pushing or retracting hard back done incorrect retracting has begun stage two rv and purge page 1 rpms aft final setup and purges of the lighter the purge dragon logo has gone to terminal count and is in internal power stage one, locks charging, closes vehicle is transitioning to internal power stage two, lock float is closed per pound filling are complete, the dragon is an automatic idol, the brown gas shutdown is starting, the falcon 9 is at the start, the dragon is not counting down. is armed for launch dragon spacex let's go for launch dragon spacex let's go for launch let's light this candle t-minus 30 seconds stage 1 tanks pressing for flight the team is 15 seconds 10 9 8 seven six five four three two one lit zero takeoff from the falcon 9 and the crew dragon go nasa go spacex stage one propulsion is nominal falcon power and nominal telemetry m1d throttle down the vehicle is supersonic and one accelerates to maximum kill a bravo copy a bravo mvac engine start cooled m1d accelerates downward falcon stage separation confirmed copy two alpha ignition m-vac signal wave acquisition stage two propulsion is the spacex dragon nominal nominal trajectory and now we have seen the nominal trajectory number, we have seen the separation of the first stage booster which should now be on the way to recovery on the ocean barge uh for reuse on the left we're seeing a view inside the spacecraft on the right we're seeing looking towards the end of the spacecraft the propulsion the tail end of the spacecraft is still nominal as that second stage engine continues to propel the astronauts into space uh they are in a much smaller and much lighter vehicle than when they left the earth uh the first stage is gone um it What's happening now is about increasing acceleration uh the crew is going to feel a maximum of three g's on this flight, which is notIt's terrible for the average person, that would be enough;
The average 150-pound person would feel like they weigh 450 pounds, but these astronauts are used to eating eight and nine g. in a simulator, what we should be seeing on the right now is a scene of the first stage descending from halfway into space, back to the ocean, that appears to be what we're seeing on the left, it's the view . What would you see if you were behind Bob Benkin and Doug Hurley, looking at the instrument panel and windows at the front of the spacecraft, the first stage on the right is in something close to a controlled free fall, now it won't turn back on their engines. to land until you get close to the ground, but the attitude control thrusters along the flank of the thruster keep you aligned and keep you in constant motion when you hear a nominal trajectory which is good news, nominal in this case means exactly as you If you want it to be on the right, you can see that the thrusters are now beginning to fire on that first stage as it slowly descends towards Earth, it is falling at a speed at this point, of course, that would not allow it to survive. the entry, but the propulsion is still good, it will restart its s2 propulsion engines like they just said that the stage two propulsion uh, that means the nominal trajectory of the second stage, that means that the second stage of the rocket still is on a signal acquisition stage from New Hampshire 2 feet was saved and we can now see that the first stage engines have been re-ignited as the first stage descends towards its landing barge, it is about to penetrate a passing through the cloud tops and landing on the barge should be less than a minute away, although it's a little hard to tell from this perspective, it all depends on the exact height of that cloud ceiling bobby step throttle shannon and back through our pass and back off dragon spacex nominal orbital insert launch escape system is disarmed copy of the dragon nominal orbital insert those are some sweet words nominal orbital insert the dragon spacecraft is in orbit uh unfortunately the signal then we are seeing on the left that not only the dragon spaceship is in orbit but the first stage of the rocket has successfully landed sign that Newfoundland has successfully landed on the barge that has a funny name of course I still love you, welcoming the first stage, when the crew is in orbit, the first stage is recovered, the first launch from US soil on a US spacecraft with US astronauts since 2011, has now placed those astronauts in orbit, signs of hits and At this point what we are looking at is a surprisingly controlled mission control room, dragon separation and in Hawthorne, California, where the flight controllers seem relatively calm given the enormity of what they have just accomplished, lower stage separation del uh, the second stage engine of the uh spacecraft is now complete, the dragon is independently in spacex with that separation call, we have a word for you from our falcon 19. let's listen to this dragon, chief engineer at dragon the ground, bob doug on behalf of the entire launch team, thank you for flying Falcon 9 today.
We hope you enjoyed the trip and we wish you a great mission. Hello, congratulations to you on the F9 team on the first human journey for Falcon 9 and it was incredible. I appreciate all the hard work. and uh, thank you for the fantastic space travel, yes, I'm proud of you and the rest of the team, uh, thank you very much for what you have done for us today, putting the United States back into low Earth orbit from the coast of Florida, good luck, good luck. the work is done, the launch is complete, the United States is in progress, the United States has rejoined the ranks of the space nations that launch from their own soil their own astronauts, their own rockets, uh, we will now return to the NASA feed, uh, live for about another 15 or so minutes um uh, this is Time magazine reporting from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Time headquarters in New York City.
We have witnessed history today and we have witnessed a return to the United States as a leader in the world of spacefaring nations. Environmental control. and a life support system that is all controlling their atmosphere, just keeping Dragon in a nice, safe, habitable environment where they will live for the next 19 hours until they reach the space station exactly and Falcon 9's work can be finished by today, but the the mission has not finished the work of Crew Dragon has not finished, as you can see, Bob and Doug are still inside Crew Dragon on the way. It will be a 19-hour trip to the international space station before they dock tomorrow morning.
Such great views. I love that you can get these live views here and see what they're doing now that they're in orbit, yeah, it's amazing just to be looking over your shoulder to go along for the ride and we'll be with them and we'll be with all of you all the way. trip to the space station which we'll be covering live throughout Bob and Doug will obviously have a sleep period where they'll get some sleep around eight hours. Later today, before they wake up for their final approach, one of the biggest things we're looking forward to in the next few hours will be their first turn at the controls, so they'll actually use those touch screens. screens to take control and manually pilot the dragon.
We'll walk you through what it will look like and, assuming we have good ground station coverage, we can get views from inside the dragon by looking over its shoulder while they manipulate the controls. on display, but I mean we had a smooth uphill ride on both stages of the Falcon 9 doing its job putting Bob and Doug into orbit. I mean, this is a day, this is a historic day, this is us starting that new era of space. flight we've all been talking about and longing for since the space shuttle program came to an end in 2011. Yes, and the weather cooperated.
Yes, the second time is the charm. Okay, that's a day for the history books, as you can see. We have lost some live signal there, but the mission is still going on and we will send it to ksc to continue broadcasting live.

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