On Monday, Beijing time, the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, an American space exploration and technology company, put the manned dragon spacecraft into orbit again, sending four astronauts to the international space station, marking the beginning of a new era of manned spaceflight for NASA. On the occasion of the first commercial manned launch of SpaceX and NASA, the US and British media have written articles to comment on this.
Wall Street Journal: success of public private partnership
SpaceX put four astronauts into orbit, marking the company's first formal commercial manned launch mission and the start of regular commercial flights to the international space station. The mission was carried out at full capacity, raising SpaceX's status as the first private company to receive NASA's approval to send people into space on a regular basis. At the same time, it also provides strong support for NASA's strategy of using public-private partnership to accelerate human space exploration.
NASA's official approval of the safety of the manned dragon spacecraft is also a long-term goal of SpaceX during the six-year difficult development and testing process. During this period, SpaceX team overcame many technical failures and accidents such as rockets, parachutes and emergency escape engines, and insisted on a more flexible and less bureaucratic engineering and design verification path than NASA. The latest launch proves the correctness of this approach.
The launch cost of SpaceX is expected to be 40% lower than that charged by the Russian Soyuz. The broader goal of the United States is to release NASA funds for deeper exploration of the solar system. SpaceX has so far received more than $3.1 billion in federal funding for its "commercial astronaut" program, while its competitor Boeing estimates it has received $4.8 billion, but the latter seems to be lagging far behind SpaceX in terms of project progress.
Washington Post: SpaceX becomes the backbone of the aerospace industry
As the latest launch of the manned dragon spaceship, NASA has made another step towards a new era of manned spaceflight. In this new era, private companies work with governments to build and design spacecraft and rockets. This marks a mature moment for the SpaceX founded by Elon Musk (Elon Musk. A former maverick start-up, the company is now one of the backbone of the aerospace industry and one of NASA most important partners.
However, the process of achieving this goal is long and sometimes painful. For the first time in 2008, NASA commissioned the private sector to deliver cargo and supplies to the space station. At that time, allowing the private sector to carry out missions was a controversial decision. But under the obama administration, the government awarded SpaceX and boeing contracts for the "commercial astronaut project" to build spacecraft that could send astronauts to the space station.
At first, both companies struggled to meet NASA's stringent standards for manned space, and suffered setbacks, which delayed the program for many years. SpaceX lost two Falcon 9 rockets in the explosion, and a manned dragon spacecraft exploded on the test bench. It was only after SpaceX completed the test flight of two astronauts in May this year that SpaceX was granted the right to shuttle NASA astronauts to and from the space station on a regular basis.
New York Times: helping space travel become normal
Different from boarding commuter flights from New York to Washington, SpaceX manned dragon boat sent four astronauts to the International Space Station, an important step in helping space travel become the norm. For the future, NASA astronauts and anyone else with enough money can buy tickets for commercial spacecraft without relying entirely on government-operated spacecraft. "This marks the end of the development phase of the system ," said Phil McAlister (Phil McAlister), NASA director of commercial space development. For the first time in history, private-sector entities have a safe and secure commercial launch capability to send people into space ."
With the manned dragon spacecraft in commercial operation, the number of people on the station can be increased to seven. After the retirement of the space shuttle, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft is the only means for astronauts to and from the space station. But the Soyuz has only three seats and can only serve as a lifeboat in an emergency. The two Soyuz spacecraft are docked at the space station, and the maximum number of astronauts can only be six. But for now, the space station can hold seven people.
Reuters: brewing 10 years to open a new era
NASA said the flight is the first "operational" mission of a rocket and manned spacecraft system, which has been in the pipeline for 10 years. It represents a new era of commercial spacecraft development, in which U.S. astronauts are put into orbit by private entities rather than NASA owned and operated spacecraft.
In August, the SpaceX manned dragon spacecraft carried out a test flight, carrying only two astronauts to and from the space station, marking the first time NASA launched a human space mission from the United States in nine years after the completion of the space shuttle program in 2011. In the intervening years, American astronauts had to take the Russian Soyuz spacecraft into orbit.
NASA signed contracts with SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop competing manned spacecraft to replace its space shuttle program, and to free the United States of its dependence on Russian spacecraft to send astronauts into space.
Space website: SpaceX manned flight is recorded in history
The gum shaped manned dragon spacecraft, which has been carried out for a second manned flight, has been recorded in history, marking several first, including the first long-term mission of astronauts from the space coast, and the first commercial manned launch mission as NASA's "commercial astronaut" program. In May, NASA and SpaceX helped usher in a new era of space flight, the manned space era led by commercial companies, with the launch of demo-2 demonstration missions.
Nearly a decade ago, on July 21, 2011, the legendary career of the project ended with the last landing of the space shuttle Atlantis. Since then, NASA has decided to transfer control to the private sector and entrust SpaceX and Boeing to transport astronauts to and from space. If the project is successful, SpaceX's manned dragon spacecraft and Boeing's Starline spacecraft will become NASA's main means of transporting astronauts to space.
But before manned flight, SpaceX must prove that its spacecraft can ensure the safety of astronauts in the flight process. One of the lessons of the 1986 Challenger crash was that all manned aircraft needed emergency escape systems. Although unusual conditions in flight are rare, NASA needs to make sure that its astronauts are still safely taken home if the manned dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are abnormal.
Fox News: a new milestone in the commercial astronaut program
The historic manned launch of SpaceX manned dragon spacecraft today marks a new milestone in NASA's commercial astronaut program. The first commercial manned launch of the manned dragon spacecraft is also the first time that the U.S. commercial spacecraft launches astronauts in rotation.
American President Donald Trump (Donald Trump) tweeted :" It was a great launch !" President-designate Joe Biden (Joe Biden) congratulated NASA and SpaceX on Twitter after the launch. "This proves the power of science and what we can achieve by harnessing innovation, originality and determination ," he wrote. I join all Americans and people of Japan in wishing the astronauts a smooth journey ."