Science and Technology Daily, Washington, May 31 (Reporter Liu Haiying) 3:30 pm Eastern Time, May 30 (3:22 am Beijing time, 31st), a space exploration technology company (SpaceX) carrying two astronauts The manned version of the "Crew Dragon" spacecraft, equipped with the "Falcon 9" rocket, was successfully launched at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and entered a predetermined orbit 12 minutes after the flight to the International Space Station.
After nearly 19 hours of flight, it automatically docked with the space station at 22:16 on the 31st of Beijing time. Two American astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Benken, who will be on board the manned "Dragon" spacecraft, will then enter the space station to conduct a series of experimental and research missions with astronauts in the space station.
This is the first time in the history of the United States that the United States has carried out a manned space mission again, and the private company is responsible for sending astronauts into space. The mission, code-named SpaceX Demo-2, is part of the "Commercial Manned Flight Project" of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The project aims to develop a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of sending astronauts into low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station in cooperation with American commercial aerospace companies. SpaceX is an important partner selected by NASA. Prior to this, its cargo "Dragon" spacecraft has repeatedly transported cargo for NASA to the International Space Station. This flight mission is an end-to-end test designed to verify the entire process of the SpaceX manned spacecraft system from launch, docking to splashing, which is also the final flight test of the system.
The two astronauts will test the spacecraft's environmental control system, display and control system, propulsion system, etc. during orbital flight to verify whether the spacecraft system performance is as expected, and then enter the International Space Station to work and continue to test the spacecraft. The duration of this mission will depend on the crew's preparations for the next launch, when Benken and Hurley will board the manned "Dragon" spacecraft to leave the space station and return to Earth.
Since NASA decided to retire its space shuttle in 2011, the United States has lost the ability to independently carry out manned space flights, which is unacceptable for this space power. The Trump administration attaches great importance to the development of the aerospace industry and has ambitiously proposed to return to the moon in 2024. This mission is considered to be an important step towards this goal, and NASA regards it as the beginning of a new era of space flight. Its success will mark a major shift in American space.