SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during launch May 30. (NASA/SpaceX)

Astronauts: Falcon 9 rocket was ‘completely various’ flight than the area shuttle bus

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was a “pure flying machine” compared to the area shuttle bus, according to the astronauts who rode it into area.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken piloted the very first manned flight of the Falcon 9 on May30 Each astronaut had actually formerly been on on 2 area shuttle bus objectives, and they mentioned their surprise at how relatively smooth the SpaceX launch was.

SpaceX’s Team Dragon spacecraft throughout launch May30 (NASA/SpaceX).

“From the time the engines lit, the first two-and-a-half minutes to staging was about like we expected, except you can never simulate the Gs, so as the Gs built you could certainly feel those,” Hurley informedSpaceflight Now “What I thought was really neat was how sensitive we were to the throttling of the Merlin engines. That was really neat. You could definitely sense that as we broke Mach 1.”

He included: “We didn’t even need to look at the speed. You could tell just by how the rocket felt, so it’s a very pure flying machine.”

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket climbs into orbit May 30 from the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket climbs up into orbit May 30 from the Kennedy Area Center. Credit: SpaceX.

” Keep In Mind, [the] shuttle bus had strong rocket boosters to begin with,” Hurley stated. “Those burned very rough for the first two-and-a-half minutes. The first stage with Falcon 9 were the nine Merlin engines. It was a much smoother ride, obviously, because it was a liquid engine ascent.”

This photo provided by NASA shows Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, far right, joining the crew at the International Space Station, after the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked Sunday, May 31, 2020. The Dragon capsule arrived Sunday morning, hours after a historic liftoff from Florida. It's the first time that a privately built and owned spacecraft has delivered a crew to the orbiting lab. (NASA via AP)

This image offered by NASA reveals Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, far right, signing up with the team at the International Spaceport Station, after the SpaceX Dragon pill brought up to the station and docked Sunday, May 31,2020 The Dragon pill showed up Sunday early morning, hours after a historical liftoff from Florida. It’s the very first time that an independently developed and owned spacecraft has actually provided a team to the orbiting laboratory. (NASA through AP).

Liquid engine climb is a referral to the mix of super-chilled kerosene and cryogenic liquid oxygen propellants taken in by the Merlin engines.

After the smooth launch, the astronauts stated the 2nd phase felt a bit rougher.

“The biggest difference is just the dynamics that are involved, the vibration, the experiences that we felt actually riding a real rocket,” Behnken stated.

“It will be interesting to walk with the SpaceX folks to find out why it was a little bit rougher ride on the second stage than it was for shuttle on those three main engines,” Hurley included.


The Team Dragon spacecraft was established to mainly work autonomously, dealing with all preparation and docking with the International Spaceport station following the 19- hour flight.

NASA is likewise dealing with Boeing on its manned Starliner pill, which is anticipated to release early next year.

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