‘Resilience’ to the International Space Station | Sunday Observer
Marking a new era in space history

‘Resilience’ to the International Space Station

22 November, 2020

With three Americans and a Japanese on board, Space X launched their Dragon Crew capsule to the International Space Station on Sunday, November 15. The capsule was set for liftoff at 7.27 P.M Eastern time. The trip was originally planned to be launched on Saturday, the day before, but as bad weather came up with hurricane Eta, it was postponed to Sunday.

The crew included three Americans and a Japanese:, an Air Force colonel, Michael Hopkins, a physicist, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, a Navy Commander and rookie astronaut, Victor Glover, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut who is the third person to rocket into orbit in three different kinds of spacecraft. Victor Glover is going to be the first black astronaut who will spendan extended period of five to six months onboard the space station. The capsule was named ‘Resilience’ considering that it is launched during very challenging times with Covid -19.

Landmark mission

This landmark mission would be noted as the first ever ‘fully-fledged mission which sends a crew into orbit aboard a privately owned spacecraft’. This launch happens three months after NASA test pilots successfully completed Space X’s ‘first occupied flight of a Dragon crew capsule’.

This particular spacecraft is symbolic of an era which is commercially well-ahead as the spacecraft is owned and operated by a private entity. For the US, this trip became remarkable as this is just the second occasion where astronauts were sent to orbit from US in nearly a decade.

“This is the culmination of years of work and effort from a lot of people and a lot of time. We have built what I would call one of the safest launch vehicles” said Benji Reed, Space X senior director of human spaceflight programs.

According to NASA, it has taken 10 years to make a spacecraft which is all-set to take up its first ‘operational’ mission for a rocket and crew vehicle system.

The Dragon capsule is said to be spacious with room for seven people unlike the previous capsules which were only for a maximum of three people. There is also extra room in the Dragon where science experiments could be carried out. ‘Resilience’ is the ‘only spacecraft currently flying which is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth’.

As planned, Dragon would be automated to the space station, but if necessary, the crew can take control of it as well. The crew is supposed to spend 27 hours in orbit till the capsule makes its way to the International Space Station.

The Dragon Crew capsule falls under NASA’s commercial crew program where sufficient design, development and testing took place pertaining to human-rated spacecraft in the private sector, for the first time in the Space Agency’s history. NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine has declared the launch to be another historic moment.


The four initial astronauts are scheduled to join another three astronauts: two Russians and an American at the space station. These three astronauts have flown to the Space Station last month from Kazakhstan.

The mission of ‘Resilience’ was not announced as a test trip as it was officially certified as ‘a spacecraft worthy of carrying people’ last week. During their five to six month stay at the International Space Station (ISS), basically, the research will be conducted to provide insights into ‘how microgravity affects human heart tissue’.

They will also try to grow radishes in space to support their studies structured to figure out ‘how food might be grown to sustain deep-space exploration mission’ which would sound rather incredible and miraculous to all the space enthusiasts out there, yet would definitely be a precious discovery to the astronauts who wish to traverse the space someday.