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SpaceX’s historic first human mission to space: what to expect

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On the afternoon of May 27th, SpaceX is slated to launch its very first passengers to space, potentially heralding a new era of human spaceflight for the United States. It’ll be the first time in nearly a decade that people have launched to orbit from American soil, and it’ll be the first time that a private vehicle takes them there.

This historic flight is really a test. It’s the last big milestone for SpaceX as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The experimental initiative tasked private companies with creating new spacecraft for NASA that are capable of transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX’s contribution to the program is a sleek, gumdrop-shaped capsule called the Crew Dragon. While it’s flown a few times before, the capsule has yet to carry people to space.

SpaceX spent the last six years getting to this point. Last year, the company did a full dress rehearsal, successfully launching the Crew Dragon to the station without a crew on board. The company also tested the capsule’s emergency escape system, confirming that the Crew Dragon can carry people to safety if something goes wrong during the launch. But there have been setbacks to overcome, too, including rocket failures and the explosion of a Crew Dragon capsule during a ground test last year. SpaceX has since recovered, referring to the failures as “gifts” that helped the company create a safer vehicle.

Now, it’s time for the Crew Dragon to have a crew. The vehicle’s first two passengers are veteran NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who were assigned to this mission in 2018. After two years of training for this flight with both NASA and SpaceX, they’re ready to don SpaceX’s custom space suits and take their seats inside the capsule.

Here’s why this flight is so important, what to expect from the mission, and what it means for NASA and SpaceX moving forward.

The Importance

July 8th, 2011, marked the final flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle and the last time astronauts launched to orbit from the United States. Ever since, NASA has flown all of its astronauts and international partners to the space station on Russia’s Soyuz capsule. The arrangement costs NASA about $80 million per seat — and it has been the agency’s only option for getting people to the station.

Artistic renderings of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon (L) and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner (R).
Image: Alex Parkin / SpaceX / Boeing

To end its reliance on another country, NASA worked with private industry to bring human spaceflight back to the United States. With the Commercial Crew Program, NASA awarded two companies — SpaceX and Boeing — contracts to develop their own vehicles that could ferry NASA’s astronauts to the space station and back. NASA paid SpaceX $3.14 billion to develop and fly the Crew Dragon, while Boeing received $4.8 billion to develop and fly the CST-100 Starliner.

An intense rivalry formed between the two companies over the years. Both experienced numerous technical delays and setbacks along the way, but ultimately, SpaceX pulled ahead. When it flies, SpaceX will become the first private company ever to fly humans to orbit.

The Launch

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will take off from the company’s launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Known as Launch Complex 39A, it’s seen launches of the Space Shuttle as well as Saturn V rockets that sent humans to the Moon. SpaceX started leasing the complex from NASA in 2014 and transformed the launchpad to support flights of the company’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

Hurley (R) and Behnken (L) outside of the Tesla that will take them to the launchpad.
Photo by Bill Ingalls / NASA

Suited up in SpaceX’s custom pressure suits, astronauts Behnken and Hurley will start making their way to the launchpad at around 1PM ET. To really make this an Elon Musk affair, the two astronauts will ride to the site in a white Tesla Model X, adorned with various NASA logos for absolute synergy. Once at the pad, the duo will take an elevator up near the top of the Falcon 9 rocket and walk across a suspended hallway known as the “crew access arm” to the entrance of the Crew Dragon.

Behnken and Hurley will climb inside the capsule and shut the hatch, which will mean it’s time to start fueling the vehicle. This part of the process has been fairly controversial for some in the aerospace community. Back when the Space Shuttle was flying, fueling occurred before astronauts boarded since loading combustible materials into a spacecraft is considered risky. However, SpaceX opts to do fueling about half an hour before launch, after the crew is already on board. The company uses incredibly cold propellants to fly its Falcon 9, which boost the vehicle’s performance. The sooner SpaceX pumps in that propellant before launch, the less time there is for the liquids to warm up and boil away.

The crew access arm leading to the Crew Dragon, perched atop the Falcon 9.
Image: SpaceX

After years of debate over this procedure — called “load and go” — NASA finally signed off when SpaceX demonstrated it could be safely done on numerous flights.

Once all the propellant is loaded in the rocket, things will happen quickly. SpaceX will give the go-ahead to launch, with liftoff scheduled for 4:33PM ET. The company must launch at that exact time or be forced to delay to the backup launch date, which is currently set for Saturday, May 30th.

The Docking

If all goes as planned, it’s a quick trip to Earth orbit for the two astronauts. The Falcon 9 rocket will release the Crew Dragon into low Earth orbit about 12 minutes after takeoff. The rocket will then return to Earth where it is scheduled to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

For the next 19 hours, the astronauts will orbit the planet. During that time, the Crew Dragon will raise its orbit slightly by periodically igniting its engines in order to catch up with the International Space Station. Inside the capsule, Behnken and Hurley will try to get some sleep — and perhaps use the capsule’s onboard toilet if nature calls.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon approaching the International Space Station during its first test flight in 2019.
Image: NASA

The Crew Dragon is designed to require minimal input from its passengers, but since this is a test, Hurley and Behnken will do some manual flying before they reach the space station. “It’s obviously something that we want to make sure we understand completely for future crews in case they ever have to fly the vehicle manually,” Hurley said during a press conference. The plan is for Hurley to take control right after Crew Dragon reaches orbit as well as when they approach the space station.

But really, this is a time for the Crew Dragon’s autonomous docking system to shine. It’s a feature that the previous cargo version of SpaceX’s Dragon lacked when carrying supplies to the ISS. During those cargo missions, an astronaut on board the space station used a robotic arm to grab hold of an approaching Dragon capsule and draw it close to the ISS. Now, with the upgraded Crew Dragon, the capsule shouldn’t need any help from humans. Once Hurley is done flying manually near the station, the Crew Dragon’s automatic system will kick in. Using a series of sensors and cameras, the capsule will fly itself toward the ISS and hook itself onto an open docking port.

If the launch proceeds as planned, docking should take place at 11:29AM ET on Thursday, May 28th.

The Return

Once the Crew Dragon’s hatch is opened, Behnken and Hurley will join NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner on the ISS. Hurley said Cassidy recently sent them an email about their impending reunion in space. “He said something about he’s looking forward to seeing our ugly mugs onboard space station,” Hurley recalled.

Originally, NASA planned to keep the astronauts at the space station for only a few weeks. But plans changed as delays in the Commercial Crew Program prolonged the development of SpaceX and Boeing’s vehicles. The first crewed flights were supposed to take place in 2017, and with the expectation that these vehicles would be regularly flying by now, NASA purchased a limited number of seats on Russia’s Soyuz rocket. Those seats started to run out, and now Cassidy is tasked with all American-led operations on the space station.

About six months ago, NASA decided to extend Behnken and Hurley’s stay on board in order to maintain a bigger crew on the ISS. Now it seems likely they’ll be up in space for a few months, though NASA hasn’t decided yet when the astronauts will return. The Crew Dragon can only stay in space for about four months because of its solar panels. The thin atmosphere in space degrades the panels over time, limiting the vehicle’s lifetime in orbit.

The four parachutes of the Crew Dragon, lowering the vehicle into the ocean during its flight test in 2019.
Image: NASA

NASA says it will make the decision about the crew’s return date while they’re in space. As an added bit of insurance, NASA recently purchased one more seat on a Soyuz flight for this fall in case of further delays with the Commercial Crew vehicles.

When the time comes, Behnken and Hurley will climb back into their Crew Dragon, close the hatch, and detach from the space station. They’ll distance themselves from the ISS and then eventually take the plunge through Earth’s atmosphere. A suite of four parachutes will lower them down, allowing them to splash safely in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.

The Unthinkable

SpaceX has spent years doing tests and inspections to ensure that this launch performs safely. But this launch is a test, and the specter of failure weighs heavily on many minds. If something goes awry, a built-in emergency escape system will provide an extra layer of protection for the astronauts.

Embedded inside the outer walls of the Crew Dragon are tiny thrusters called SuperDraco engines. These thrusters are designed to ignite during flight in case something goes catastrophically wrong. The SuperDracos can carry the Crew Dragon up and away from a malfunctioning rocket, and once far enough away, the capsule’s parachutes can deploy, lowering the vehicle down into the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a maneuver that’s only needed in the case of an emergency, but SpaceX claims this option is available during every point in the flight until the Crew Dragon is deployed into orbit. And that actually means NASA and SpaceX are fairly limited about when this mission can launch. An abort could bring the Crew Dragon down in an extremely wide area of ocean in the Atlantic, and NASA wants to make sure that the weather is good in every possible location the capsule could touch down.

“We’re actually looking at waves — we’re looking at wave velocity and wave height — because we need to make sure that if the crew has to come down in a launch escape scenario, that they would come down in a sea state that would keep them safe and the rescue forces would be able to come and get them,” Benji Reed, director of crew mission management at SpaceX, said during a press conference. SpaceX will be considering the weather in more than 50 locations all the way up the East Coast to Canada and even across the Atlantic to Northern Ireland. That means weather delays are more likely than not.

The weather has been looking spotty for launch on May 27th so far, but today, the 45th Space Wing in Florida predicted a 60 percent chance that conditions will be favorable for launch.

The Future

Once Behnken and Hurley are back on Earth with their families, it’ll be time to start making these kinds of trips routine — which is what the Commercial Crew Program is all about. SpaceX and NASA will pore over the data gathered during this test flight and use that information to certify the Crew Dragon for regular flights to and from the ISS.

SpaceX’s next, fully operational mission of the Crew Dragon will then just be a few months away. That flight will carry a crew of four: NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and Shannon Walker as well as Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Their flight is expected to occur in early fall, cementing a new age where commercial companies are routinely taxiing people to NASA’s space station.

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Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox Series X versions announced for free

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Borderlands 3 PS5

Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox Series X are coming with free next-gen upgrade !!

Isn’t it great? Yes, you heard right!!

Borderlands 3 is all set to take a huge jump as Gearbox Software also confirmed the news that Borderlands 3 will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X very soon as it is under development right now.

Not only this, but there will also be an upgrade that will be freely available for all the gaming-enthusiasts who are on PS4 right now.

So there is no need to create panic PS4 gamers !!

Borderlands 3 PS5: When it Will Make Bang on Entry

  • Right now, it will be quite early to comment on its release date. But one thing that you can be stay assured about is that it will not be very late.
  • We can expect it anytime by the end of 2020 or at the beginning of the new year of which many are deliberately waiting as people have high hopes that 2021 will bring some positivity with it as 2020’s global pandemic has exhausted everyone.

What will happen to existing Borderlands 3 players?

There is a piece of good news for existing Borderlands 3 players, as existing Borderlands 3 players will be able to transfer their saves over to the enhanced PS5 and Xbox Series X versions at no extra cost.

Features of Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox X

Borderlands 3 PS5

  • Borderlands 3 runs at 60 frames per second and in 4K resolution on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 in single-player mode.
  • Not only this but also Borderlands 3 is coming with 2 exciting features like Four-player split-screen, and the option to do vertical split-screen in two-player co-op.
  • You can divide your screen both horizontally as well as vertically in a two-player co-op.

Gearbox said Borderlands 3 PS5 players can expect more add-on content later in 2020.

These features mentioned above, especially the vertical split-screen, have been requested by the gamers for so long, It is now fulfilled by the makers of the game.

And goodies are not over yet !!

As it’s not just locked to the Borderlands PS5 and Xbox Series X versions. They will be added to current-gen versions in a patch at some point as well.

New DLC is Coming ???

Yes, there is another good news regarding Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox X series, New DLC is ready to come out very soon.

Borderlands 3 PS5: PAX Online presentation

The gearbox is all set to amaze its players with a complete set of new surprises. This new DLC isn’t part of the season pass but comes to a new game mode and the added bonus of a brand new skill tree for every single Vault Hunter.

  • It will be introduced with FL4K’s new skill tree.
  • Recently a teaser was released showcasing a new crowd-control based action skill called Gravity Snare, and a brand new companion- a Hyperion Loaderbot which made gamers elated to a great extent.
  • In case you don’t know then let us let you know that right now Borderlands is available for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One
  • And in the coming times, it will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X versions as they are under the development phase right now.

 

 

 

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Only best India betting on well-tried 1xBet

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The current football season offers its fans an ongoing intrigue that continues up to now. This makes it possible to place best India betting on well-tried 1xBet.in, which generate a considerable income for football fans. Thus, fans of the English Premier League were recently shocked by the news that the disqualification of Manchester city had been cancelled, which automatically excludes those who on the 5th line of the standings from the Champions League.

Now, to qualify for the group stage of the most popular European tournament, teams have to finish the season within the TOP 4 of the standings. Unlike Liverpool and Man City that have already secured qualification for the Champions League, other challengers keep fighting actively. Even despite the fact that London Chelsea is currently ranked 3rd and Leicester 4th, the Red Devils are a potential challenger of these places. Solskjaer’s team still have plenty of time to overcome their opponents, which is strongly backed by the following factors:

  1. Acquisition of B. Fernandes. With this player, the Manchurians’ starting lineup has gained enough strength. From now on, the flank attacks have become more frequent, thus creating dangerous moments at the opponent’s goal.
  2. Decent performance of Rashford and Martial. In the second half of the season, these two strikers managed to demonstrate their skills to the maximum and score goals in almost every game.
  3. Motivation. Solskjaer has motivated the team so that they would return their name and prestige to the large arena of the Champions League.

Best betting on the upcoming games of the English Premier League is available to all residents of India on the well-tried website 1xBet.

You can make money on the game of Manchester United within the eSports direction as well due to well-tried bets on FIFA 20 cyber league on 1xBet. Only the highest coefficients are available here.

The best attested live casino from 1xBet

The well-known brand offers to give your gambling skills a try as well. In the corresponding section, you will find a wide range of casino games that are common for a real gambling parlour. The company has attested live casino from 1xBet, which is suitable for any category of players. If you want, you can place all entertainment right into your pocket using a special mobile app. Thus, you will be able to play at the live casino from attested company 1xBet almost anywhere where there is Internet access. All new players receive a welcome bonus of up to 100% of the first deposit — such a present will significantly increase your income!

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Smarty SIM only deals & Plans August 2020

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Do you use Smarty SIM? Are you planning to buy a Smarty SIM? or do you want to know Smarty SIM-only deals & Plans August 2020? If yes, go through the article below and read all about Smart SIM.

Smarty is UK’s one of the finest brands for SIM purchase brands that provides incredible offers to its customers. Get all the data you need for less. SIM-only deals are rapidly gaining popularity. One of the choicest things about Smarty is that it does not tie users into a long term contract by offering handsets or very long-term plans. Rather, it offers a good collection of  SIM-only plans, all of which bundled with unlimited texts and calls.

Google has added many travel features to its platform for the convenience of travelers: Google is adding a new ‘free cancellation’ filter to only see hotels that offer this incentive.

Why Smart SIM only?

There are various reasons that force users to use SMART SIM only. it offers something different that you would not get on other telecommunications.

Heavy Discount on unused Data

This offer is just wow! Getting something you haven’t used! This is a “buys back” deal. Users get money at the rate of  £1 /GB of data for unused data of the previous month in the following month. So, if you have left with 5 GB of data in the month of June, you would get a discount of £5 on the billing of July.

Flexible Plans

Smarty SIM plans last for a month. So, users can change their plans every month according to their needs. Sometimes we need more data and sometimes less, so Smarty SIM provides flexibility to manage great deals for them.

Referring Scheme

Referring schemes exist with most of the apps and so does with Smarty SIM. When you signup on the website, you would be given a special link called “Refer a Freind” link. You can send invites to your friends by sharing the link. When your friend signup using the same link you would get a free month. The referred friend also gets a free month and a £10 Amazon voucher. Send as many invites as you want to. Remember, you get when your friend signup using the same link.

Data-ad ons

Run out of data sometimes? Do not worry! With Smarty SIM you can take data addons very easily at the cost of £1.25 per GB of data. moreover, Data ad-ons are for a lifetime, they do not have an expiry date.

Unlimited Calls

These days almost every firm offering unlimited call packs. but Smarty is providing unlimited texts and unlimited UK standard calls with all plans and this isn’t easy.

Use SIM on other devices

Smarty SIMs can be used in your existing phone, a new handset, tablets, dongles, laptops, wifi routers, and game consoles.

Smarty SIM only deals & Plans August 2020

1) Smarty Unlimited

  • Unlimited Data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £20 per month

2) Smarty 30 GB

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £10 per month

3) Smarty 1GB

  • 1 GB data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £6 per month

4) Smarty 2 GB

  • 2 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £7 per month

5) Smarty 3GB

  • 3 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £8 per month

6) Smarty 4 GB

  • 1 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £9 per month

7) Smarty 50 GB

  • 50 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £15 per month

8) Cheap SIM plan

This is for Lebara SIM only.

  • 2GB data
  • 1000 minutes and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £5 per month

9) 5GB + data SIM

This is for iD Mobile

  • 10GB data
  • 1000 minutes and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £8 per month

10) Cheapest SIM only deal for Unlimited data

This is for Three SIM.

  • Time: 12-month contract
  • All-you-can-eat data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Price: £18 per month

TRAI expresses concern over the use of Chinese equipment: No decision yet on Huawei and ZTE ban!!

Final Words

Well, readers, It’s all about Smarty SIM-only deals & Plans August 2020. I hope now you are out of confusion and can take a firm decision on which SIM to use. Time-to-time Smarty SIM offers the best deals to its users.

So, how do you like the article???

Share your feedback. Thank you!

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