Next week it looks like American astronauts will return to the International Space Station with American rockets.
For nearly a decade, NASA and the U.S. space industry have relied on Russia and its Soyuz rocket to travel to and from the ISS. Since NASA signed development agreements with Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX and Blue Origin in spring 2011, the hope has always been that one of these private US companies will become the country's next space taxi service (the first private company to do this) in order to). SpaceX has reached the launch pad ahead of its competitors, and now many space enthusiasts will be excited to see what happens on May 27 when the company's Falcon 9 rocket takes off from the Kennedy Space Center at 4:32 p.m. ET (8:32 p.m. UTC). .
The recently retired NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg knows the fear and excitement of the starting day quite well. It served a total of 180 days in space in 2008 and 2013 and flew into orbit with both the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz vehicle. To prepare for her six-month stay on the ISS, Nyberg learned the Russian language for months and traveled to Russia and Kazakhstan, although this kept her away from her little son. And next week, she'll be closely watching SpaceX and NASA's big launch – her husband, fellow astronaut Doug Hurley, is in command of SpaceX's first Crew Dragon mission.
Crazy and exciting at the same time, isn't it? This Thursday, May 21st, at 3:00 p.m. EST (1900 UTC / 12:00 p.m. PT), Eric Berger, Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica, will meet with Nyberg to address the personal and professional challenges in addressing the unknown to discuss in our next Ars live chat. They will talk about their careers, how they and Doug met each other as astronaut candidates, what it was like to raise a son in space, and their feelings in anticipation of this high-profile, upcoming mission.
In this socially distant video conversation, Nyberg will ask questions from Ars and readers to understand how monumental this moment could be and how heroic the task is to go to the ISS in 2020. The discussion will take place through live streaming app Periscope and is hosted on Ars Technica's Twitter account (@ arstechnica – you can certainly @ us if you have any questions). But we will also embed the following video as soon as things start for those who prefer to be stuck in place. In the meantime, let us know what you'd like to ask by sharing the most pressing questions in your mind in the comments below.
The launch of #SpaceX and #NASA next week will be historic. Hear how the astronaut @AstroKarenN is discussing this and more with @SciGuySpace at https://t.co/A3HI8oxFuB
– Ars Technica (@arstechnica), May 21, 2020