SpaceX just set a new record for the fastest astronaut’s dragon flight to date.
Elon Musk’s spaceflight company has launched four Crew-4 astronauts to International Space Station NASA in less than 16 hours on Wednesday (April 27), the shortest flight time since SpaceX Manned flights began in 2020.
“This is the fastest docking launch we’ve ever done,” Steve Stitch, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Manager, told reporters after the launch on Wednesday. “It’s about the same time it takes to get from New York to Singapore, so it’s kind of interesting.”
SpaceX Crew of 4 astronauts launched In a new Crew Dragon capsule called Freedom and Falcon 9 at 3:52 EDT (0752 GMT) from NASA’s Pad 39A Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts arrived at the space station later that night and docked at 7:37 p.m. EDT (2337 GMT). Total flight time: 15 hours and 45 minutes.
For comparison, SpaceX’s first manned flight for NASA, The Demo-2 Mission May 2020It took about 19 hours to reach the station, while the final flight of the NASA 3 crew took almost a full day.
“I would say she is lucky in terms of how this happened,” said Jessica Jensen, Vice President of Operations and Customer Integration at SpaceX, adding that any delays could have altered flight time. “You can vary from 10 to 20 hours of pause you know in a day or two. It’s not really that we’ve changed anything, it’s just the orbit mechanics of where the International Space Station is and where you get into Florida.”
The Crew-4 mission launched three NASA astronauts and one European Space Agency astronaut to the space station to begin a six-month mission. on board dragon crewKjell Lindgren, nicknamed Freedom, was the commander of the Crew-4 mission; Bob Hines pilot. mission specialist Jessica Watkins (all from NASA); and Samantha Cristoforetti, a European Space Agency mission specialist.
SpaceX’s shortest flight came before the flight space walk NASA officials said the Additional Vehicle Activity (EVA, or EVA in NASA parlance) was carried out by two Russian cosmonauts outside the space station on Thursday, so docking with the Dragon crew and stabilizing it quickly was a bonus.
“That short date was very convenient for us,” Stitch said. “We can get to the station a little faster and we can make the preparations we need once we’ve docked to prepare the dragon for EVA.”
While the Crew-4 Dragon was SpaceX’s fastest flight to the station, it wasn’t the fastest manned flight ever. The Russian Soyuz spacecraft still bears this title Holds a Guinness World Records number For the fastest time to the station b 3 hours 3 minutes trip in October 2020.
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