Soyuz later! SpaceX gets NASA green light to lob astronauts to the International Space Station full time

Russian rockets are Putin on the back burner, except for emergencies


NASA on Tuesday officially certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule as vehicles capable of flying astronauts to and from the International Space Station, making it the first ever commercial spacecraft system to be approved by the American agency.

That means that SpaceX’s gear has passed the pilot stage, and will be regularly used by NASA as a flight service to keep the ISS up and running with crews of scientists and techies. It also means NASA will no longer have to buy return tickets on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft to get people to the orbiting space laboratory. Instead, it can use US-based SpaceX.

“I’m extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine gushed. “This certification milestone is an incredible achievement from NASA and SpaceX that highlights the progress we can make working together with commercial industry.”

All eyes were on the Elon Musk-owned biz when it sent NASA ‘nauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the ISS using its own hardware back in May. The mission, dubbed Demo-2, test SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon pod with humans aboard for the first time.

SpaceX also demonstrated its technology's capabilities in the uncrewed Demo-1 flight, where the Crew Dragon pod docked autonomously with the ISS and stayed there for five days in March 2019 before returning to Earth. Following the successes of Demo-1 and Demo-2 runs, NASA officials signed off SpaceX's wares for general human use after conducting rigorous reviews.

ISS

Whoa, humans have been hanging out and doing science stuff in freaking space aboard the ISS for 20 years

READ MORE

The next launch, the Crew-1 mission set for November 14, will be the first crewed flight using a certified SpaceX rocket and Crew Dragon capsule. The pod is capable of ferrying up to seven passengers at a time, though for this particular trip, NASA ‘nauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, a space traveller from Japan's space agency, will journey into low-Earth orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Thank you to NASA for their continued support of SpaceX and partnership in achieving this goal,” SpaceX supremo Elon Musk said.

“I could not be more proud of everyone at SpaceX and all of our suppliers who worked incredibly hard to develop, test, and fly the first commercial human spaceflight system in history to be certified by NASA. This is a great honor that inspires confidence in our endeavor to return to the Moon, travel to Mars, and ultimately help humanity become multi-planetary.” ®


Keep Reading

Tech Resources

Apps are Essential, so your WAF must be effective

You can’t run a business today without applications—and because apps are critical to strategic business imperatives and commerce, they have become the prime target for attackers.

Webcast Slide Deck | How backup modernization changes the ransomware game

If the thrill of backing up your data and wondering if you will ever see it again has worn off, start the new year by getting rid of the lingering pain of legacy backup. Bipul Sinha, CEO of the Cloud Data Management Company, Rubrik, and Miguel Zatarain, Director of Global Infrastructure Technology at PACCAR, Fortune 500 manufacturer of trucks and Rubrik customer, are talking to the Reg’s Tim Phillips about how to eliminate the costly, slow and spotty performance of legacy backup, and how to modernize your implementation in 2021 to make your business more resilient.

Three reasons you need a hybrid multicloud

Businesses need their IT teams to operate applications and data in a hybrid environment spanning on-premises private and public clouds. But this poses many challenges, such as managing complex networking, re-architecting applications for the cloud, and managing multiple infrastructure silos. There is a pressing need for a single platform that addresses these challenges - a hybrid multicloud built for the digital innovation era. Just this Regcast to find out: Why hybrid multicloud is the ideal path to accelerate cloud migration.

Anatomy of a Private Cloud

Learn the key elements that combined, build a true Private Cloud

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021