Photo: dpa/SpaceX

While in the Russian Federation run the elevators with the voice of Gagarin, SpaceX took a step toward the colonization of Mars.

The hatch opened slowly, and the American and Russian astronauts successfully again “reunited” on the International space station. However, two Russian cosmonauts who were waiting for their American counterparts at the station, did not see the familiar “Union”. Instead, the ISS docked with the spacecraft Crew Dragon — completely white, as taken off straight from the American sci-Fi blockbuster, the newspaper writes (translation

May 31, after 19 hours of flight time since the launch of the U.S. Space center. Kennedy ship Crew Dragon with astronauts on Board completed a docking with the International space station. After a successful “capture” of the power supply module of the spacecraft Crew Dragon was connected to the power supply of the International space station.

Undoubtedly, this is a huge win for SpaceX, and even the big Bang large Starship rocket on the launch pad could not hide such a stunning success. Despite the overwhelming feelings, the head of the company SpaceX Elon Musk did not forget to appeal to the Russian.

“The trampoline works! — he laughed at a press conference. — It’s an inside joke for his.”

On the faces of the spectators who followed the head of SpaceX, immediately appeared a knowing smile. They realized that the person addressed by Musk, is far away in Moscow. In 2014, General Director of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, mocked the Americans: he said that without space ships “Soyuz” provided by Russia, U.S. could only “deliver its astronauts to the ISS using the trampoline”.

At that time, the United States and Russia were in a state of tension because of the Ukrainian crisis. The West began to impose sanctions against Russia. Russia threatened to impose retaliatory sanctions, and not allow the Americans to use “Union” was one of the possible countermeasures. As has happened many times in history, space has again become a geopolitical problem.

Manned space flight and even the dock and the launch is the “pearl of the crown” in the field of aerospace industry. Until now, only the great powers could develop this area with the help of national forces. Since almost 60 years ago, Yuri Gagarin first flew into space, only the Soviet Union, the United States and China mastered the technology of manned launch. Today, SpaceX, under the leadership of “Iron man” Elon musk officially became the first commercial company with the ability to launch manned spacecraft that can even perform space docking.

What’s next?

According to the Mask, the success of the spacecraft Crew Dragon is only a small part of a larger plan. Despite the fact that the Internet is the Mask always had the reputation of “showboat” and he was even accused of “selling the ideas of space colonization in sci-Fi style”, but the success of the Falcon rockets and spacecraft Crew Dragon also has its own weight, and the skepticism of many people gradually disappears.

The spacecraft Crew Dragon first generation was first launched in 2010 to deliver cargo to the ISS, while the cost of transport expenses were much lower compared to conventional. Crew Dragon of the first generation spent in total, 22 running, 21 of which were successful, and only once the housing has been destroyed in the explosion of the rocket. Because it can be reused, the cost of launch is reduced to less than one-tenth of the cost of the spacecraft and the payload can reach one third of the volume of the ship.

Manned spacecraft, second-generation Crew Dragon successfully docked with the International space station, this time also had the advantage of low cost. Currently buying seats on Russian spacecraft “Soyuz” is the United States in the amount of up to $ 90 million, while the manned spacecraft Dragon needs about $ 55 million (also referred to as the sum of 20 million dollars), which significantly reduces the cost of NASA’s manned flights, and the savings could be spent on other projects.

In the technical aspect, “the main technical feature of manned spacecraft Crew Dragon is the use of a whole new system of emergency rescue. The spacecraft does not require tower system emergency escape rocket after launch, in the case of emergency will have its own eight SuperDraco engines — said The Paper is an expert in the field of Astronautics pan Jihao. In contrast to the previous system of evacuation of motor blocks, a spaceship with this system is able to evacuate at any moment phase of the launch vehicle into orbit, which makes it more safe.”

In addition, “manned spacecraft Crew Dragon highly automated and equipped with touch information displays and fully automated control systems. This launch will also serve as a verification of some of the world’s leading space technology, which is important for the development of scientific and technical potential of American space exploration,” said Mr. Jichao.

After the first successful flight of SpaceX became the first private space company, able to independently launch manned spacecraft. As a private company, taking into account the profit, SpaceX has already launched two projects of space tourism through agents. In the near future, four tourists can go on boat Crew Dragon at space flight lasting about five days. Unlike previous space tourism passengers to Crew Dragon does not need professional astronauts to control the vehicle, since the Shuttle can autonomously reach orbit and return from it. At a time when demand for commercial launches is reduced, space tourism may be able to provide some opportunities for profit.

With orders to launch missiles and other profit opportunities, SpaceX has even more ambitious goals for space exploration. In 2016, Musk announced a “Plan for the colonization of Mars,” hoping to build a colonial city on the surface of the red planet, where it was confirmed the presence of water in the liquid state.

Of course, the schedule for the colonization of Mars, announced by Musk is quite “sketchy”. Time, namely the second half of the 2020-ies, when he was planning to land people on Mars, is now steadily approaching, and the goal is “to transport millions of people to Mars in this century” is still far from achieving. However, the cumulative success of the spacecraft Crew Dragon and Falcon rocket at least shows that the first determining factor for the colonization of Mars — reusable rockets and spacecraft — are gradually becoming reality.