The launch of the Expedition 58 could be one of the last for US astronauts on the Russian Soyuz missiles.
On December 3, NASA's astronaut Anna McClane is expected to take her first space ship to the Soyuz, as every US astronaut made since 2011. But starting from early next year, US astronauts will embark on vehicles for commercial crews produced and released from the United States.
It's a long journey for NASA, which pushes the crew's program to completion (despite multiple delays) since the 2011 Space Shuttle Program. It happened immediately after the completion of the construction of the International Space Station. Since then, NASA has had no way to fly astronauts into space from the United States. Instead, all astronauts from the space station had to fly from far Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to the prices now at more than $ 70 million. [A Baikonur Soyuz Launch During Cold War]
Russian Soyuz spacecraft and the Soyuz rocket have all passed well to be sure. The system is well received for its ability to start at almost any time, something that the space shuttle could not do. Also, the only flight of an eight-year-old Soyuz flight was discontinued in October this year, when two crew members of the expedition 57 returned safely to Earth in just a few minutes in flight. (A deformed sensor in the rocket caused an interruption, and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, quickly allowed flights to continue.)
But Americans were eager to see flights again on their soil, not only because of national pride, but also because of the opportunities that it would bring to the industry across the country.
Lower costs for launch
The first test for commercial crew is scheduled for January 7th, when the incredible version of SpaceX Space Shaft Space Spacecraft will be lifted on a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, the Cosmic Coast, near Orlando. It is the same area where every American space mission with astronauts, including the space shuttle and the missions of the moon Apollo, began at the beginning in 1961. The Boeing CST-100 Starliner will launch its first neutral flight later in 2019.
Especially, attention is paid to the industry, as the company is known as the strength of non-smokers. Hawthorne, a California-based firm, was among the first companies to develop and land the first rocket stages, which may be unthinkable a decade ago. The company was also the first to fly commercial cargo flights to the space station, starting in 2012.
SpaceX is already changing how cargo launches are, and it can do the same for human launches, said a representative of the Federation of Commercial Space Specialists. It is a group of more than 80 companies working together to build a space economy, including reducing the cost of access to orbital opportunities.
"We expect that history will be repeated," Tommy Sanford, executive director of the federation, told Apple in an email. "Just like the last time, a low-cost, regular and reliable launcher service provider, such as SpaceX, has entered the market, cost is reduced, access is increased, and a new economic economic ecosystem of activity has emerged – cubes. [that] A similar model will appear when an online commercial team arrives, which will lead to the birth of new ideas and opportunities that were previously not possible. "
More options for suppliers in the United States
Adding a commercial team to the mix of human launch systems will re-open competition and innovation, said Rich Cooper, vice president of Strategies for Strategic Communications and Spatial Promotion. It will happen not only between Boeing and SpaceX, but also between the fleet of suppliers and partners that help the two companies of the United States get the spacecraft from the country, he said.
"The alliance is not the only tool in the city," Cooper told Space.com. "It's not the only resource that we can touch. The whole effort of Boeing-SpaceX for the team team really gives the best out of all the worlds, of all options. The options provide creativity and benefit and potential. So it's really exciting about this."
Cooper also suggested a "re-separation of national pride," since the United States will finally extend its role to send astronauts to space – a status that the country enjoyed with several gaps between 1961 and 2011. The current part is the longest time the American was waiting to enter the space from the US territory from the beginning of the space.
From 1961 to 1966, flying took place at least once a year using spacecraft from one or another program: Mercury one person capsule or double craft for Gemini who practiced docking and spacecraft. Apollo's first mission was to be abolished in 1967 to practice work on the moon, but after Apollo 1's fatal fire, the first crew was transferred in 1968. Apollo missions then moved frequently between 1968 and 1972.
US astronauts flew into space three times in 1973 for missions at the Skilab space station; then, the next American team joined the Soviet mission of Apollo-Soyuz in 1975. It was a six-year gap since the space shuttle was not ready for the flight in 1981. Flights were suspended after two years, after Challenger and Columbia fatal accident on spacecraft from 1986 and 2003, respectively. But for the most part, the shuttle kept the astronauts in space and back between 1981 and 2011.
In 2010, just like the space shuttle program ended, NASA began offering money to companies interested in developing commercial crew vehicles. SpaceX and Boeing were selected in 2014. The development of commercial vehicles for crew should not have taken away this debt, but budget cuts and technical complexities pushed the launch of the program for several years with a possible escalation for 2019 or 2020.
Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook. Original article on Space.com.