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The US launched 4 astronauts to the International Space Station(ISS) as part of a collaboration between NASA and SpaceX under the Commercial Crew Program. The mission is called Crew-2 Mission.
- In May 2020, NASA and SpaceX launched the Demo-2 test mission.
- The mission carried two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
- Aim: The aim of this mission was to test flight to see if SpaceX capsules could be used on a regular basis to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS.
- After the success of Demo-2, Crew-1 was launched in November 2020. It was the first of six crewed missions between NASA and SpaceX, marking the beginning of a new era in the US for space travel.
- Purpose: The crew together with expedition 64 members conducted microgravity studies at the ISS. It included materials to investigate food physiology meant to study the effects of dietary improvements on immune function and the gut microbiome and how those improvements can help crews adapt to spaceflight.
- Crew-2 Mission is the second crew rotation of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and the first with international partners.
- The mission carried four astronauts to ISS. Among them, two are from NASA and two are from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency(ESA).
- The central focus of the mission will be to continue research on a series of Tissue Chips in Space studies.
- Tissue Chips are small models of human organs that contain multiple cell types that behave similarly to the human body organs.
- According to NASA, these chips can potentially speed up the process of identifying safe and effective drugs and vaccines.
- Scientists can use these tissue chips in space to study diseases that affect specific human organs, which would take months or years to develop on Earth.
Commercial Crew Program(CCP):
- The Commercial Crew Program(CCP) is a partnership between NASA and private industry. Its aim is to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
- Objective: The program aims to help lower the cost of spaceflight. It is to potentially create a new commercial market for humans in space.
- Business Partners: Two companies are partnering with NASA on the Commercial Crew Program: Boeing and SpaceX.
- How is this program different? Unlike previous human spaceflight programs, NASA is a customer buying flights from commercial providers. The agency does not own or operate the spacecraft.
- Significance: By encouraging private companies to provide crew transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA can focus on building spacecraft and rockets meant for deep space exploration missions.
Source: Indian Express