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Celebrate America’s Return to Crewed Space Flight

September 10, 2015


Celebrate America’s Return to Crewed Space Flight

After the long hiatus of American crewed space missions, U.S. business luminaries and political leaders are taking matters into their own hands and bringing what NASA started back to life. The wheels are turning, and engineering teams across the country (including ours) are pretty excited about it.

Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. earned honor and distinction for piloting the first American crewed space mission. The 14.8-minute flight achieved an altitude of 115 nautical miles and traveled at speeds of up to 5,100 miles per hour.
 
Fast-forward to July 21, 2011, when Space Shuttle Atlantis landed after a 12-day, 18-hour and 29-minute mission – the last time an American spacecraft launched and returned humans to and from space.
 
Last year’s article from American Progress perfectly captures what has happened since that time: 
“The United States relies on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, or ISS. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, pays Moscow $70.7 million per astronaut for seats on the Soyuz spacecraft. Moreover, a key U.S. heavy-lift rocket—which launches everything from spy and GPS satellites to planetary explorers such as the New Horizons mission to Pluto—depends on Russian-manufactured engines to deliver satellites and other payloads to orbit.” 

President John F. Kennedy cautioned in his historic speech at Rice University in 1961 that “the exploration of space will go ahead whether we join in it or not.”
 
 
Fortunately, American business luminaries and political leaders recognize the importance of our country’s rich tradition of space exploration and are resolved to develop the next generation of crewed vehicles. Betatronix is proud to be a part of this renewed interest, as we have been selected to support both the Boeing Commercial Crew Transport Spacecraft program [recently given the name Starliner] and NASA’s Orion capsule program. 
We are excited to build on our years of space flight heritage as these new systems are set to achieve new performance and endurance benchmarks. To learn more, take a look at the associated case study.

Talk to one of our expert engineers to find out more about our NASA and Boeing projects or to talk about your next spacecraft project.