With Wednesday’s no-go launch of the Live SpaceX because of unfriendly weather, the rescheduled launch for Plan B (Saturday at 2:22 p.m.*) and Plan C (Sunday at 2 p.m.*) provides time for North Texans to bone up on what the big deal is about this event.
When NASA ended the Space Shuttle program in 2011 due to rising costs, its astronauts hitched rides to the International Space Station on the Russian spaceships with seats going for a hefty five-figure amount per seat. In the meantime, it opened up an opportunity for Elon “Mr. Tesla” Musk’s SpaceX to chase his dream of taking to the skies above. He not only created a program to ship supplies to the Station, but to eventually take people into space with NASA being involved as a client.
Interested in a place on board? Be prepared because you’ll blow out your Black Card to reserve a place. Cheap seats are going for $1M. Plus, there is a waiting list already. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has already signed up for the around-the-moon-and-back package trip.
In addition to the new look of the space capsule, the spacesuits are much less cumbersome. Instead of the past Pillsbury Dough Boy look, the spacesuits look like Armani had a hand in the design.
Originally, plans called for the first manned launch from US soil in nine years to take place at Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the International Space Station in 2019. But due to circumstances that even Elon couldn’t control, it was postponed to 2020.
Finally, when the big day arrived Wednesday past NASA mission vets Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were ready to take off. But, alas, it was called off at the last minute due to Mother Nature. When asked if the astronauts’ safety had been a priority for the cancellation, Elon didn’t hesitate saying it was “the only priority.”
If the launch does take place this weekend, Bob’s and Doug’s original plan to stay a couple of weeks at the Station was changed due to the 2019 to 2020 delay. The boys will be there a month. Great news! They’ll be back in time for the Fourth of July.
Now that you’re a Falcon 9 fan, gather around the screen Saturday afternoon and keep your fingers crossed that the launch takes off for a whole new future in the universe.
* Central Standard Time ** Photo courtesy of Pixaby