Currently associated with the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s Resilience capsule, which has been in space for longer than any other US spacecraft, has simply replaced its docking port. Another ship is due to arrive and park soon.
This Monday, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, donated their flight suits and climbed into their capsules called Resilience. However, they were not coming home. Everybody made their ship move for the first time.
In 38 minutes, the flexibility was removed from its “forward” port, then retreated smoothly from the Harmony module on the International Space Station, about sixty meters from the orbiting laboratory. Under the power of his Draco thrusters, the capsule again rebuilt itself to anchor with another port called “Zenith” available on the same module.
The reason for this trip? Arrival in a few weeks of the Crew-2 mission, commanded by astronaut Thomas Peskett in June, as well as a cargo mission (CRS-22).
Musical Chair in Orbit
Here’s a description of these maneuvers: Flexibility frees its “forward” parking space to hook up to the “Zenith” port. In this way, the ship allows for the next manned mission, which should be Not launched before April 22, To dock at its old home port. In late April, Resilience will then leave the station to return to Earth, freeing the “Zenith” parking space for the benefit of the cargo mission.
This cargo mission, flown by SpaceX, will carry new solar panels to the space station inside its trunk. However, this vessel would have to dock exactly at the “Zenith” port to be able to fasten these panels before installing the station’s large robotic arm.
A final question arises: if the entire process took place autonomously, why were there four crew members on the vehicle? Although he never had to touch the controls, the crew had to do just that. Be present in case of emergency. Luckily, everything went perfectly.
For his part, Thomas Peskett continues to prepare for his next mission. France 2 was asked this Sunday evening, the French decided on a new beginning “More dangerous“already.
“For the first time, until we practiced, it’s still very theoretical, we don’t really know what’s going to happen.“, He replied. “At other times, we know exactly what’s going to happen, we know when it’s actually going to be scary, and when it’s going to hurt. We are still inspired, but we walk more thoughtfully“