The success of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon launch has been historic in more ways than one would imagine. To start off, NASA now has the power to launch its team of astronauts from the US once again. This news is delightful as the future of Space Station has been changed forever. You can now regularly fly people to the station from the Florida Coast. Not to forget that the Russian Soyuz rocket that’s being used to take humans out for a ride to the space station since 2011 is still active.
The human race has entered a new era with the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Now private vehicles and state-operated vehicles can fly alongside one another. However, with this historic launch, the relationship between Russia and the US will be changed forever.
The Space Shuttle program that ended in 2011 has left a symbiotic relationship between the two nations. Previously, NASA required assistance from Russia to get its own set of astronauts and international partners to the International Space Station. Due to the joint collaboration, both parties benefitted. Russia was able to get the funding that it needed whereas NASA got itself the seat.
“Mutual dependency actually makes for a pretty good working relationship. By all accounts, everyone I’ve talked to at NASA has said that even as the geopolitical relationship between the United States and Russia has deteriorated, their relationship — when it comes to the ISS — has remained as strong as ever.” – said Todd Harrison, the director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Now here’s the brand new twist in the story: NASA has a ride of its own now. This can twist the codependent relationship between the two space agencies.
On their evolving relationship, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “If we are going to maintain a complement of both Russian and American astronauts on board, then we need to be willing to launch Russian cosmonauts on Commercial Crew, and they need to be willing to launch American astronauts on the Soyuz. And my last conversations with Dmitry Rogozin (Director General of Roscosmos), I think we were both in strong agreement that was necessary for both nations as we move forward.”
Source: The Verge
Due to the changing dynamics, it is predicted that lesser operation flights will be observed with Soyuz in the future.
“Economically, demographically, they are in a decline. And there’s little chance they’re going to pull out anytime soon. So in terms of a space power, they’ve got the technology, but they are going to be able to do less and less with that technology as years go by.”
Russia is obviously going to witness a major blow with this historic launch. Now one side is slightly more potent to the relationship in this codependent dynamic.
“If we are going to maintain a complement of both Russian and American astronauts on board, then we need to be willing to launch Russian cosmonauts on Commercial Crew, and they need to be willing to launch American astronauts on the Soyuz. And my last conversations with Dmitry Rogozin, I think we were both in strong agreement that was necessary for both nations as we move forward.” – Bridenstine said.
Business for SpaceX
Apart from the changed relationship with Russia, SpaceX will overview how the new business plans will play out. For example, SpaceX has already announced that its open for business and is aiming to send tourists into space through the Crew Dragon. Furthermore, a private company called Axiom has already revealed its plan to build its own space station by 2024. And last but not least, Tom Cruise is expected to fly on the Crew Dragon to film a movie in space.
SpaceX has already announced plans to send tourists into space on the Crew Dragon. The company is sending four tourists on a trip to orbit. They also plan to send private citizens to the ISS next year for Axiom, a company that plans to build its own space station to launch in 2024. And there’s a big possibility that Tom Cruise will fly on the Crew Dragon to film some kind of movie on the ISS in the future.