SpaceX's Dragon Crew to break record for most days in space

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Feb 07, 2021, 10.50 AM(IST)

Crew Dragon astronaut capsule Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Skylab 4 crew, with NASA astronauts Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue, docked their Apollo spacecraft to the Skylab space station 47 years to the day when the SpaceX crew docked to the orbiting lab, the US space authority estimated

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Sunday said that the crew of Dragon spacecraft of Elon Musk's SpaceX is all set to break the record for most days in space.

Four flight engineers, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, docked the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the US module last November."They will surpass the record of 84 days set by the Skylab 4 crew on February 8, 1974," NASA said.

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The Skylab 4 crew, with NASA astronauts Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue, docked their Apollo spacecraft to the Skylab space station 47 years to the day when the SpaceX crew docked to the orbiting lab, the US space authority estimated. 

Meanwhile, NASA has selected tech billionaire Elon Musk`s private aerospace company SpaceX to provide launch services for an astrophysics mission to survey the sky in the near-infrared light.

The planned two-year mission is called SPHEREx, short for Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer.

The near-infrared light, which, though not visible to the human eye, serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions involving the birth of the universe, and the subsequent development of galaxies, according to NASA.

SPHEREx will also will search for water and organic molecules -- essentials for life as we know it -- in regions where stars are born from gas and dust, known as stellar nurseries, as well as disks around stars where new planets could be forming, the US space agency said this week.

The mission currently is targeted to launch as early as June 2024 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Astronomers will use the mission to gather data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.

The total cost for NASA to launch SPHEREx is approximately $98.8 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs.

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