Teslas in Space?

Author: Kopal Kumar

From: Saint Louis, Missouri

We’ve all heard of Elon Musk and his popular Teslas. Wherever you go, you’re bound to see a Tesla dealership or hear someone talking about their new electric car. However, one thing as many people do not know about Elon Musk is his company SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 with its main mission being to find a more affordable way to allow colonization on Mars.

SpaceX has numerous ongoing projects right now but its most important one is the SpaceX Crew Dragon. The Crew Dragon was built by the company to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. Now this might be a bit confusing because you would think that NASA would be building these vehicles. However, it has always been part of NASA’s plan to slowly hand over the responsibility of human space travel to private companies. Hence, SpaceX and Boeing have been hard at work.

The Crew Dragon was first revealed in 2014 at a SpaceX headquarters event. It includes seven seats for the crew and 16 Draco thrusters that are used to manoeuvre the vehicle in orbit. Each Draco is capable of producing 90 pounds of force in the vacuum of space. The Crew Dragon also has a capsule design quite similar to the Apollo’s command modules which allowed Astronauts to travel to the Moon. If anything goes wrong during lift-off, the capsule has a launch escape system (LES) consisting of eight SuperDraco engines that each produce 16,000 pounds of force. The LES quickly separates Crew Dragon from its rocket. Inside the spacecraft is one of the Crew Dragon’s biggest or most important features. The Crew Dragon has three large touch screens that function very well but were also created while keeping user experience in mind.

While it was created in 2014, the Crew Dragon is finally being launched in 2020. It was originally scheduled to be launched on Saturday, November 14th 2020. However, due to inclement weather in Florida, this launch was delayed to today, Sunday November 15th. It will be launched alongside the Falcon, another SpaceX project. Today, at approximately 7:27 pm EST, four astronauts will board the two space capsules and be launched into space, hoping to eventually reach the International Space Station. The four astronauts are Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency Astronaut Soichi Noguchi and NASA Astronauts Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover.

While this may be an exciting moment, there have been many hurdles on the journey of being able to get to the launch. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has tested positive for the coronavirus. This mishap caused a lot of confusion on whether or not the astronauts should be launched into space, since they may have come in contact with Elon Musk and may not have the proper tools to deal with the virus if they were to have it in space. However, due to numerous factors, Elon Musk and NASA have dismissed any concerns of contact tracing and are all ready for the launch. However, Elon Musk may be in quarantine during the launch, preventing him from being onsite.

Either way, this is still a very exciting step forward. Day by day, humans are able to make incredible inventions that lead us to new discoveries. The success of this invention and mission means that we will become one step closer to civilization on Mars. Make sure to watch the launch create history tonight!

 

Author: Kopal Kumar


Hi I’m Kopal! I’m a sophomore in high school from Saint Louis, MO. In my free time, I love to play tennis and watch criminal minds!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.space.com/spacex-nasa-delay-crew-1-astronaut-launch

  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52840482

  3. https://www.space.com/spacex-crew-1-nasa-astronaut-launch-day-webcast



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