Successful operation for Space X. The two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived safely this Sunday after two months spent aboard the International Space Station (ISS). They returned as they had left: with the Crew Dragon capsule that landed off Florida.
A first since 2011
It was the first time since 2011 that the Americans had not used a Russian space shuttle to access the ISS. NASA launched a privatization program under President Obama, including the plan for Elon Musk’s company to transport four astronauts twice a year. Thomas pesquet will be one of the lucky ones from spring 2021.
Space X will give the United States cheaper access to space than previous NASA programs. It’s a small revolution because the agency is no longer the owner or operator of its equipment, but a simple client among others. This should precipitate a new era of human space flight and space tourism, coveted by Space X as well as Virgin galactic or Blue Origin.