Skip to comments.NASA Astronaut May Be Among Last to Launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome
Posted on 12/01/2018 10:25:39 AM PST by BenLurkin
Dec. 3, NASA astronaut Anne McClain is expected to take her first spaceflight aboard Soyuz, as every U.S. astronaut has done since 2011. But starting as early as next year, U.S. astronauts will climb on board commercial crew vehicles manufactured and launched from the United States.
It's been a long journey for NASA, which has been pushing a crew program to completion... ever since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011.... Since then, NASA has had no way of flying astronauts into space from the United States. Instead, all space station astronauts have had to fly from remote Baikonur, Kazakhstan, for prices that are now more than $70 million a seat.
The first commercial crew test is scheduled for Jan. 7, when an uncrewed version of SpaceX's human-rated Dragon spacecraft will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Space Coast, near Orlando. It's the same area where every U.S. space mission with astronauts, including the space shuttle and the Apollo moon missions, has launched starting in 1961. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will run its first uncrewed flight later in 2019.
SpaceX, in particular, has industry attention, because the company is known as a disruptive force. The Hawthorne, California-based firm was among the first companies to develop and land reusable first stages for rockets, a feat unimaginable even a decade ago. The company was also the first to run commercial cargo flights to the space station, starting in 2012.
SpaceX is already changing how cargo launches are done, and it may do the same for human launches, said a representative of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. That's a group of more than 80 companies who are working together to build the space economy, including reducing the cost of access to orbital opportunities.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
NASA muzzie outreach is VERY problematic.
Not holding my breath for human rated vehicle just yet.
That we dont have the ability to get our folks into space is embarrassing.
Thanks fieldmarshaldj. Bye-bye Baikonur.
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