America Has Put Its Own Astronauts In Space After A Nine Year Hiatus: A Discussion Thread

After a scrubbed attempt on May 27th, SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission has successfully put two American astronauts, Robert Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, into orbit. It marks the first time in nearly a decade that America hasn’t relied on Russia to ferry its personnel to and from the International Space Station (ISS). That came with a hefty price tag from Moscow, costing roughly $86M per seat using evolved variants of the Soyuz system that dates back many decades. SpaceX’s much newer partially reusable Falcon9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule combination is more than competitive in price even though it is so young. 

The rocket began its ascent at 3:22 pm local time at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Next, it will have to dock with the Harmony module on the ISS. Both astronauts will stay onboard the station for weeks before returning back to earth in the Crew Dragon capsule. As such, this is a relatively long test mission, with each major evolution having its own risks and challenges. 

The collective joy of a successful launch could not have come at a more needed time as the United States grapples with a global pandemic and outrage over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer. 

So, with that being said, let’s talk about it! 

This is an open discussion thread about America’s return to flying its own manned missions into space, so please share new information, cool pics, and videos from this historic mission as it unfolds. If you want to discuss anything unrelated, please visit our weekend Bunker Talk discussion linked here. 

Godspeed Demo-2!

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Tyler Rogoway Avatar

Tyler Rogoway


Tyler's passion is the study of military technology, strategy, and foreign policy and he has fostered a dominant voice on those topics in the defense media space. He was the creator of the hugely popular defense site Foxtrot Alpha before developing The War Zone.