Thursday 4 June 2020

Crew Dragon Endeavour

With everything else happening lately, I neglected to post about the launch of the Dragon-2 class spacecraft Endeavour on the 30th of May. Initially planned for the 27th but delayed due to poor weather, the Endeavour carried Colonel Douglas Hurley and Colonel Bob Behnken to the International Space Station.

Fully titled the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavour, the spacecraft was developed by SpaceX as a new means of manned spaceflight. The original Dragon-class vessel was improved to the Dragon-2, with both a Crew and Cargo variant designed. The SpaceX Demo-2, as the mission is officially named, was the first manned spaceflight from the US since the last Space Shuttle mission, taken by the Atlantis in 2011. It was launched by a Falcon9 rocket, also designed by SpaceX.

It represents a major step forward in joint space travel cooperation between the private and state sectors, as a joint mission between SpaceX and NASA. The capsule is of course named for the Space Shuttle Endeavour OV-105, which replaced the destroyed Challenger in 1987. A follow-up mission is planned for the end of August. I can only imagine they keep their astronauts in strict quarantine given the latest conditions.

And yes, I know this is a massive vanity project for Elon Musk, but then, if it worked for Zefram Cochrane...

Crew Dragon Endeavour approaching ISS

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