The flight of the American "Dragon": the Russian "Unions" remained out of work

There have been many discussions and debates about this spacecraft. It looks like a huge futuristic bullet. True, his flight speed is much higher. We are talking about the brainchild of SpaceX Corporation, which was called Crew Dragon ("Passenger Dragon").

The first commercial ship of the United States for many years, designed to deliver people to the ISS, launched from platform 39A in the Space Center. Kennedy March 2. Falcon 9 was used as a launch vehicle. The next day, he successfully docked to the International Space Station.

Crew Dragon - a new "taxi" for astronauts

As a matter of fact, there is nothing “supernatural” in the new spacecraft. Earlier, more than 39 ships for various purposes, which had more ambitious tasks, not to mention their technical characteristics, started from the same site 109A. However, it is worth noting that they all belonged to extremely expensive state projects of a national scale.

Crew Dragon is something else. So, professor emeritus of space policy at John Washington University, John Logson noted that the new SpaceX device will be a modest step that will bring humanity closer to more affordable commercial space flights.

In general, it is. Government project Crew Dragon is not like all the previous ones. And SpaceX Corporation can become exactly the company that will open the era of entrepreneurship in space. That according to Chad Anderson, the CEO of Space Angels, now deserves great respect.

At the moment, the priority goal for NASA is to "launch an American spacecraft with American astronauts, which will start on American soil." This will happen for the first time since 2011, when the US space shuttles stopped "carrying" people to the ISS.

All this time, for the delivery of American representatives to the International Space Station, I had to rent a place in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Now, after the Crew Dragon has successfully passed the tests, astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley will be able to make the first flight aboard the new device in July this year.

The eight-meter “capsule”, designed for 7 passengers, was able to take 200 kg of payload with it as part of a test flight. The mission was called Demo 1. Its main goal was a five-day docking with the ISS and further flooding off the coast of Florida. The important thing is that the ship itself and the Falcon 9 booster are designed for reusable use, which will save millions of dollars.

However, despite the success of the project, NASA still added a fly in the ointment for the honey barrel for SpaceX. The corporation, owned by Mask, has a competitor in the person of Boeing. The latter plans in April to conduct a test flight of its version of the device called the CST-100 Starliner. If successful, astronauts Eric Bo, Nicole Aunapu Mann and Christopher Ferguson will fly it in August.

It is worth noting that Boeing has been playing the role of an aerospace contractor for NASA for several years. As it became known, Boeing will receive $ 4,2 billion for identical missions, and SpaceX - about 2,6 billion. Such a noticeable difference is due to the fact that the competitor Mask will launch using the "disposable" Atlas 5 rocket, which, naturally make them more expensive.

And also, with a successful set of circumstances, Boeing will have the opportunity to seize the palm. However, this is not so important. After all, as the same John Logson said, "the US is now faced with the task of restoring access to space and freeing up hope in the Russians."

Russian "Unions" remain out of work?

The US space industry seems to have entered its heyday and is not going to slow down. Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder) sponsors Blue Origin, Richard Branson sponsors Virgin Galactic. In addition, other ambitious projects are constantly coming into the industry. But still, the last word today remains with SpaceX.

During the Cold War, when space programs were an important part of the confrontation between the USA and the USSR, huge funds were allocated for them. Naturally, aerospace companies benefited from this maximum, as they understood the extreme importance of each mission for the government and knew that they could continue to earn even if they went beyond the budget. After all, the exact cost of this or that space program was not known to anyone at that time, and there was a "eloquent" answer to the dissatisfaction of taxpayers in the spirit of patriotism: "The future of US freedom is at stake."

Over time, the Americans moved to reusable shuttle shuttles, which were designed to reduce the cost of flights to the ISS, but this did not happen. Starts were still unreasonably expensive.

A breakthrough for the American astronautics occurred in 2009, when SpaceX published estimated prices for the commercial launch of cargo. Now, customers knew exactly how much money they needed to attract for the implementation of a mission.

Despite the fact that 412 companies "invested" in SpaceX, and the size of investments amounted to 18 billion, business was not so easy. There were missile launches and mass layoffs of employees.

But still, heaven opened before SpaceX. And this merit belongs entirely to the aggressive and uncompromising policy of the company. Now Washington welcomes the participation of private firms in space programs, and the cost of delivering cargo and astronaut flights into space has become more affordable than ever.

Now that prices have ceased to be “cosmic,” ideas and proposals from various stakeholders have surged, as if from a “cornucopia”. True, to a greater extent we are talking about the launch of satellites, and not astronauts.

However, anything can change at any time. The ambitious Elon Musk and his colleagues are sure that if the upcoming mission involving Crew Dragon and astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley goes without a hitch, then the next goal of SpaceX will be Mars.
21 comment
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  1. Oleg RB Offline Oleg RB
    Oleg RB (Oleg) 4 March 2019 16: 22
    Expected however. Someone just does, not talk
  2. boriz Offline boriz
    boriz (boriz) 4 March 2019 17: 28
    It will be interesting to look at the faces of American astronauts when they are offered to fly on this ship. Roscosmos last year organized a "promotion" for our crew rescue system. And the Americans, judging by the interviews, are very, very impressed. But on the Dragon there is no such system, but the apparatus is new, raw ...
    I really hope that our people will not be driven to fly on it. Judging by the statements of the Roskosmos management about the "khrushchev stock depot", I would not be surprised.
  3. Pishenkov Offline Pishenkov
    Pishenkov (Alexey) 4 March 2019 18: 07
    if the upcoming mission involving Crew Dragon and astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley goes without a hitch

    and if that doesn’t work out, then all this will again be frozen for decades. Which in general is also an option.
    And then they will impose new sanctions on us, the embassy will be taken away, they will somehow screw up, and we will continue to "carry" them into space and sell rocket engines ...
    1. Oleg RB Offline Oleg RB
      Oleg RB (Oleg) 4 March 2019 18: 13
      And if it passes? soldier
  4. DPN Offline DPN
    DPN (DPN) 4 March 2019 21: 05
    If Russia has nothing up its sleeve, then they’ve gotten enough. One joy - we have more than billionaires, and this is more important for the country.
    1. Nick Offline Nick
      Nick (Nikolai) 5 March 2019 03: 25
      Quote: DPN
      If Russia has nothing up its sleeve, then they’ve gotten enough

      The Federation ship is on its way. Yes, and "Soyuz-5". And the most important thing is cost and reliability. There is no data in the article to compare the cost of an astronaut's flight on the same Soyuz and Dragon. Some general conversations. Yes, and impossible, the Dragon is still a theory only. The shuttles were also reusable, but the cost of the cosmonauts' flight was significantly higher and more dangerous than on our disposable, but reliable Soyuz.
  5. wax Offline wax
    wax (Valery Zyukov) 4 March 2019 22: 52
    Rogozin has a trampoline.
    1. vik669 Offline vik669
      vik669 (vik669) 5 March 2019 00: 20
      And Elon Mask has a Dragon!
    2. Nick Offline Nick
      Nick (Nikolai) 5 March 2019 03: 27
      Quote: Wax
      Rogozin has a trampoline.

      Yeah, especially for the Americans. fellow
  6. kamski Offline kamski
    kamski (Kamski) 5 March 2019 00: 14
    All this is nonsense, without our RD-180 nothing will do. Our Unions are the most reliable, the most powerful, and all the leading experts of the world recognize this (he heard, spoke on TV). This is Elon Musk the rogue and a rogue (they said on TV). All that he shows, all these are fakes.
    1. vik669 Offline vik669
      vik669 (vik669) 5 March 2019 00: 23
      Nowhere without our RD-180!
      1. Nick Offline Nick
        Nick (Nikolai) 5 March 2019 03: 40
        Quote: vik669
        Without our taxiways 180 - yours there is no kuya there from the USSR (such a country was)!

        Ours, and doubly ours. First, the RD-180 was developed in Russia, in the period 1994-1999. NPO Energomash, and secondly, the development was carried out on the basis of the Soviet RD-170, and Russia was officially recognized by the world community as the legal successor of the USSR.
      2. Pishenkov Offline Pishenkov
        Pishenkov (Alexey) 5 March 2019 11: 50
        And this is the nail of the problem! What, does someone really think that Americans cannot make their own engines? Someone thinks that they thus become dependent on us? Nonsense! And they can make their engine easy! It's just that it will be much more expensive than the RD-180, that's all. And they are pragmatists. And so we allowed them to save a lot, and redirect the finances to development. I don’t understand a damn thing! Well, we openly say - the USA is our enemy, and they do not hide in any way, they behave absolutely openly with hostility, they do everything they can to spoil Russia anywhere and anywhere ... But we give them rocket engines ... Cooperation in space. .. What's this? They say that Roskosmos makes money on this, without this order there will be no money ... And I thought Roscosmos was a state corporation that ensures the development and security of the Russian Federation ... How did it happen that it is dependent on contracts with the enemy and the supply of strategically important products to the enemy ?
    2. Nick Offline Nick
      Nick (Nikolai) 5 March 2019 03: 29
      Quote: kamski
      Our Unions are the most reliable, most powerful, and this is recognized by all the leading experts of the world, he himself heard talking on TV.

      Well, TV, this is not the ultimate truth. But about Unions, this is true, confirmed by time and statistics.
    3. DPN Offline DPN
      DPN (DPN) 5 March 2019 21: 11
      The TV and the fence are almost the same thing. Do you know what they write on the fence?
  7. Galar Offline Galar
    Galar (Timur) 5 March 2019 11: 23
    The United States is doing something, and there’s only chatter in Putin's Russia. They live on the backlogs of the USSR and only know how to grind with their tongues, but to show cartoons.
  8. General Black Offline General Black
    General Black (Gennady) 5 March 2019 14: 28
    if the upcoming mission involving Crew Dragon and astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley will go without a hitch, then the next goal of SpaceX will be Mars.

    That is, the Americans are completely unsure of the successful outcome of the event. Means of emergency rescue came up with cowards. The Americans have a sad leadership. Two shuttle crews, fourteen people were killed.
    So someone makes the American a great egegei, while someone quietly and without undue noise does his job.
    1. molotkov60mkpu Offline molotkov60mkpu
      molotkov60mkpu (Yuri) 6 March 2019 10: 31
      There was information in the press that either both, or one of the Shuttle crews did not die.
  9. Pawel ignatiew Offline Pawel ignatiew
    Pawel ignatiew (Pawel Ignatiew) 6 March 2019 04: 01
    Water ..... And nothing more
  10. tat_shurik Offline tat_shurik
    tat_shurik (Shurik) 6 March 2019 14: 52
    Strictly speaking, it will be possible to talk about a successful replacement for the Union only after a successful soft landing. It’s too early to talk about success. Fly into orbit and dock, only half the battle.

    Although the fact that over the past year ours has half as many launches as the United States and 1,5 times less than the PRC’s cannot but strain. Two years ago they were in first place, now - already in third.
    1. Oleg RB Offline Oleg RB
      Oleg RB (Oleg) 6 March 2019 20: 26
      At this rate, the scribbling will begin like - "it's not enough to fly 10-30-80 times, the main thing is to land successfully for the 89th time."