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Two astronauts climb aboard SpaceX rocket for historic flight – CTV News

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. —
Despite more storms in the forecast, two NASA astronauts climbed into their capsule Saturday for a second attempt at a history-making ride into orbit aboard a rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

With the flight already delayed three days by bad weather, forecasters put the odds of acceptable conditions at 50-50 for the 3:22 p.m. liftoff of the 270-foot Falcon 9 in what would be the first launch of astronauts into orbit by a private company.

Their destination: the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth.

It would also be NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade.

NASA officials and others held out hope the mission would be a morale-booster amid the gloom of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 360,000 people worldwide, including more than 100,000 Americans.

Veteran astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken pulled on their angular, white-and-black spacesuits with help from technicians wearing masks, gloves and black hoods that made them look like ninjas.

Before setting out for the launch pad in a gull-wing Tesla SUV — another Musk product — Behnken pantomimed a hug of his 6-year-old son, Theo, and said: “Are you going to listen to Mommy and make her life easy?” Hurley blew kisses to his 10-year-old son and wife.

SpaceX and NASA monitored the weather not just at Kennedy Space Center, where rain, thick clouds and the chance of lightning threatened another postponement, but all the way up the Eastern Seaboard and across the North Atlantic to Ireland. Waves and wind need to be within certain limits in case the astronauts have to make an emergency splashdown on the way to orbit.

Wednesday’s countdown of the rocket and its bullet-shaped Dragon capsule was halted at just under 17 minutes because of the threat of lightning.

Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts to and from the space station.

“I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t nervous,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said before the launch attempt. “We want to do everything we can to minimize the risk, minimize the uncertainty, so that Bob and Doug will be safe.”

President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence planned to return for the second launch attempt.

Because of the coronavirus, NASA severely limited the number of employees, visitors and journalists allowed deep inside Kennedy Space Center, and the crowd was relatively small, at a few thousand. At the centre’s tourist complex, though, all 4,000 tickets were snapped up in a few hours.

The space agency urged people to stay safe and watch from home, and by NASA’s count, at least 1.14 million viewers followed the launch preparation online. But spectators also began lining the Cape Canaveral area’s beaches and roads. Signs along the main beach drag read, “Godspeed.”

Among the spectators was Neil Wight, a machinist from Buffalo, New York, who staked out a view of the launch pad from a park in Titusville.

“It’s pretty historically significant in my book, and a lot of other people’s books. With everything that’s going on in this country right now, it’s important that we do things extraordinary in life,” Wight said. “We’ve been bombarded with doom and gloom for the last six, eight weeks, whatever it is, and this is awesome. It brings a lot of people together.”

NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to taxi astronauts to and from the space station, under contracts totalling $7 billion. Both companies launched their crew capsules last year with test dummies. SpaceX’s Dragon aced all of its objectives, while Boeing’s Starliner capsule ended up in the wrong orbit and was almost destroyed because of software errors.

As a result, the first Starliner flight carrying astronauts isn’t expected until next year.

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How SpaceX is 'revolutionizing the space industry' – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The spectacular launch into orbit of NASA astronauts aboard a SpaceX capsule on Saturday proves what space investors are betting on — commercial companies can lower the cost to access space.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“What we saw this weekend is something that should actually bring a lot of confidence to the space investing community,” CEO of&nbsp;ProcureAM tells Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.” data-reactid=”17″>“What we saw this weekend is something that should actually bring a lot of confidence to the space investing community,” CEO of ProcureAM tells Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="SpaceX, founded by Tesla’s (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, is now the first commercial company to have launched NASA astronauts to the International Space Station via its Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket, (both of which are re-usable). The astronaut spaceflight was the first to originate from U.S. soil since 2011.” data-reactid=”18″>SpaceX, founded by Tesla’s (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, is now the first commercial company to have launched NASA astronauts to the International Space Station via its Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket, (both of which are re-usable). The astronaut spaceflight was the first to originate from U.S. soil since 2011.

“Sending humans to the ISS is actually helping us lower costs of actually getting things into outer space, which is what SpaceX is doing such a tremendous job on,” said Chanin.

“NASA and other space agencies are more and more ever willing to say, ‘Okay, we don’t need to build everything ourselves. We’re willing to work with the commercial space industry to help us achieve our goals’,” Andrew Chanin.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Since NASA retired its own shuttle program in 2011, it has been paying Russia&nbsp;more than $80 million per seat&nbsp;to shuttle astronauts to the ISS via the&nbsp;Soyuz spacecraft.” data-reactid=”23″>Since NASA retired its own shuttle program in 2011, it has been paying Russia more than $80 million per seat to shuttle astronauts to the ISS via the Soyuz spacecraft.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NASA calculates that its contract with SpaceX for six round-trip missions brings the average cost per seat down to $55 million.” data-reactid=”24″>NASA calculates that its contract with SpaceX for six round-trip missions brings the average cost per seat down to $55 million.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“If they can keep on lowering those expenses, sending things into outer space, there's so many more technologies that the barriers of entry, and the cost of R&amp;D will drop significantly and doing so could really revolutionize the space industry,” said Chanin, whose company created what he calls the first pure-play global space exchange-traded fund (UFO).” data-reactid=”25″>“If they can keep on lowering those expenses, sending things into outer space, there’s so many more technologies that the barriers of entry, and the cost of R&D will drop significantly and doing so could really revolutionize the space industry,” said Chanin, whose company created what he calls the first pure-play global space exchange-traded fund (UFO).

The Procure Space ETF includes 30 publicly-traded companies specializing in different areas, from rocket manufacturing to satellite technologies.

“Right now, one of the big drivers is broadband internet. So you look at things like 5G cloud computing, connected devices, even blockchain now some of these areas that people are really interested in getting exposure to and satellites are actually providing this,” said Chanin.

“Satellite companies are these global, digital, super highway toll operators for outer space,” he added.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Musk, recently dubbed a ‘visionary’ that ‘puts money where his mouth is’ by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, has said SpaceX’s satellite business will eventually pay for Musk’s more ambitious plans to eventually colonizing Mars.” data-reactid=”29″>Musk, recently dubbed a ‘visionary’ that ‘puts money where his mouth is’ by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, has said SpaceX’s satellite business will eventually pay for Musk’s more ambitious plans to eventually colonizing Mars.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Ines covers the U.S. stock market. Follow her on Twitter at&nbsp;@ines_ferre” data-reactid=”30″>Ines covers the U.S. stock market. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more:” data-reactid=”31″>Read more:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Put money in the hands of consumers, not businesses: NYU professor Galloway” data-reactid=”32″>Put money in the hands of consumers, not businesses: NYU professor Galloway

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Why launching astronauts to space via SpaceX’s crew capsule is a big deal” data-reactid=”33″>Why launching astronauts to space via SpaceX’s crew capsule is a big deal

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Warren Buffett: “Thank you Dr. Fauci”

It would be unprecedented for a bear market to be this short: Wells Fargo Strategist” data-reactid=”34″>Warren Buffett: “Thank you Dr. Fauci”

It would be unprecedented for a bear market to be this short: Wells Fargo Strategist

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Recent rally could be a ‘bear market trap’: Miller Tabak Strategist” data-reactid=”35″>Recent rally could be a ‘bear market trap’: Miller Tabak Strategist

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Find live stock market quotes and the latest business and finance news” data-reactid=”36″>Find live stock market quotes and the latest business and finance news

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="For tutorials and information on investing and trading stocks, check out&nbsp;Cashay” data-reactid=”37″>For tutorials and information on investing and trading stocks, check out Cashay

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Yahoo Finance on&nbsp;Twitter,&nbsp;Facebook,&nbsp;Instagram,&nbsp;Flipboard,&nbsp;LinkedIn, and&nbsp;reddit.” data-reactid=”38″>Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardLinkedIn, and reddit.

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SpaceX captures the flag, beating Boeing in cosmic contest

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. —
The first astronauts launched by SpaceX declared victory Monday in NASA’s cosmic capture-the-flag game.

They quickly claimed the prize left behind at the International Space Station nearly a decade ago by the last crew to launch from the U.S.

“Congratulations, SpaceX, you got the flag,” NASA astronaut Doug Hurley said a day after arriving at the space station.

Hurley showed off the small U.S. flag during a news conference and again in a linkup with SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

“You can bet we will take it with us when we depart back to Earth,” said Hurley, floating alongside Dragon crewmate Bob Behnken.

The flag flew on the first space shuttle flight in 1981 and the final one in 2011. Hurley was on that last shuttle crew.

The flag was an added incentive for Elon Musk’s SpaceX company and Boeing, competing to be the first private company to launch a crew to the space station. Saturday’s liftoff of NASA astronauts was the first from the U.S. in nine years. Boeing’s first astronaut flight isn’t expected until next year. The crew will include Chris Ferguson, commander of the last shuttle flight who now works for Boeing.

“Proud to yield the title of “The last commander of an American launched spacecraft” to ΓåòAstro–Doug who, with ΓåòAstroBehnken, has returned US to space from KSC after 3,252 days. Well done,” Ferguson tweeted following the SpaceX liftoff.

An estimated 100,000 people — suppliers, vendors, engineers, etc. — were responsible for Saturday’s flawless launch of test pilots Hurley and Behnken aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center. The Dragon capsule, also built and owned by SpaceX, docked at the space station Sunday.

“It’s awe-inspiring for all of us,” SpaceX manager Benji Reed told the astronauts from Hawthorne.

Reed asked them about the Falcon ride. Hurley said he could feel when the rocket went transonic and broke the sound barrier. The final push to orbit, on the second stage, was full of vibrations and felt like “driving fast, very fast on a gravel road,” he said. The astronauts instantly went from pulling more than three G’s — more than three times the force of Earth’s gravity — to zero gravity as soon as they reached orbit.

“Sounds like the ultimate ride in a Batmobile with the jet engine turned on,” Reed said.

Behnken said one of the first things he did upon reaching the orbiting lab was call his 6-year-old son, Theo, to hear what is was like to watch his father blast into space “and share that a little bit with him while it was still fresh in his mind.”

Hurley and Behnken spent Monday making sure their docked Dragon is ready to make an emergency getaway, if necessary. The capsule will serve as their lifeboat during their space station visit. They joined three station residents — an American and two Russians.

NASA will decide in the coming weeks how long to keep the pair there. Their mission could last anywhere from one to four months. The timing will depend on Dragon checkouts in orbit and launch preparations for the company’s next astronaut flight, currently targeted for the end of August.

With so much uncertainty and so many variables, Behnken said it was a little hard explaining to his son when he’d back.

“From his perspective, he’s just excited that we’re going to get a dog when I get home,” Behnken said with a smile.

Source: – CTV News

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Russia space agency applauds SpaceX launch but calls Trump's reaction 'hysteria' – The Province

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This NASA photo obtained May 31, 2020 shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASAs SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, at 3:22 p.m. EDT on May 30, 2020, at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Bill INGALLS / NASA / AFP

The U.S. success will potentially deprive Roscosmos, which has suffered corruption scandals and a number of malfunctions, of the lucrative fees it charged to take U.S. astronauts to the ISS

Russia’s space agency criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s “hysteria” about the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years, but also said on Sunday it was pleased there was now another way to travel into space.

SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched two Americans into orbit on Saturday en route to the International Space Station (ISS), a landmark mission that ended Russia’s monopoly on flights there.

Trump, who observed the launch, said the United States had regained its place as the world’s leader in space, that U.S. astronauts would soon land on Mars, and that Washington would soon have “the greatest weapons ever imagined in history.”

NASA had had to rely on Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, to get to the ISS since its final space shuttle flight in 2011, and Trump hailed what he said was the end of being at the mercy of foreign nations.

The U.S. success will potentially deprive Roscosmos, which has suffered corruption scandals and a number of malfunctions, of the lucrative fees it charged to take U.S. astronauts to the ISS.

“The hysteria raised after the successful launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is hard to understand,” Vladimir Ustimenko, spokesman for Roscosmos, wrote on Twitter after citing Trump’s statement.

“What has happened should have happened long ago. Now it’s not only the Russians flying to the ISS, but also the Americans. Well that’s wonderful!”

SpaceX’s capsule docked with the ISS on Sunday.

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin congratulated NASA chief Jim Bridenstine for the success.

“Bravo! I know how anxious you were for this major event to become a success,” Rogozin wrote on Twitter.

Rogozin said he had appreciated a barbed joke by Musk referencing his own 2014 barb that the United States should try using a trampoline to get to the ISS. Musk told a post-launch news conference “the trampoline is working.”

Ustimenko said Russia planned to test two new rockets this year and to resume its lunar program next year.

“It will be interesting,” said Ustimenko.

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