- A SpaceX rocket sent four astronauts, including the 600th person to enter space in 60 years, into orbit Wednesday night.
- According to NASA, Matthias Maurer of Germany claimed the No. 600 spot based on his mission assignment.
A SpaceX rocket sent four astronauts, including the 600th person to enter space in 60 years, into orbit Wednesday night.
The journey, repeatedly postponed, took place just two days after SpaceX returned four other astronauts from the International Space Station.
They should’ve been up there to greet the newcomers, but NASA and SpaceX chose to reverse the order due to the Gulf of Mexico’s favourable recovery weather on Monday.
After the spacecraft entered orbit, mission commander Raja Chari commented, “It was a great journey, better than we hoped.”
According to NASA, Matthias Maurer of Germany claimed the No. 600 spot based on his mission assignment. He and his three NASA crewmates are expected to arrive at the space station in less than 24 hours, despite being more than per week and late.
Last week, one of the astronauts — NASA won’t identify which one — was forced to return to Earth due to a secret medical concern. According to NASA, the crew member has fully recovered. Officials will not say whether COVID-19 caused the illness or damage.
Their flight delays were also caused by bad weather.
When the four astronauts said their goodbyes to their families on Wednesday night, it was raining, and they had umbrellas over their heads. Then, the weather improved, as predicted by forecasters.
Tourism in space is on the rise.
The 600-strong list includes astronauts from the United States and Russia who have spent a year or more in orbit, as well as individuals who have only scraped the surface of space, such as actor William Shatner last month. This year’s influx of space travellers pushed the total to above 600.
According to Maurer, since Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering trip in 1961, this has averaged out to 10 individuals every year.
“But I believe that in a few years, we will witness an exponential spike in that one,” he remarked after arriving at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center two weeks ago.
The crew launch was SpaceX’s fourth for NASA in 112 years and the company’s fifth passenger mission overall — a four-person charter voyage that bypassed the space station.
The toilet in the Dragon capsule leaked during their three days in orbit in September, prompting a fast modification of the flushing system in the newest spacecraft, which the crew has called Endurance.
SpaceX experts scrutinised the data after a faulty parachute during Monday’s descent before approving the launch on Wednesday.
SpaceX officials stated Tuesday that one of the four chutes opened more than a minute late, a fault detected in testing and well within safety limitations.
Get Canada and Manitoba’s top News, Market news, and other worldwide news only on Manitoba Daily.