Author – Dr Veena S C, Professor, Department of ECE, BNMIT
We have heard of phrases ‘sky is the limit’ , break the limits’ quite often in many motivational speeches. Most of us have gifted our kids book on astronomy when they were small and seen the spark in their eyes as they flip its pages. And that was the end. Yesterday, the curiosity on astronauts was rekindled for me with the great news on SpaceX successfully launching first crew dragon space ship on to the orbit. We are that lucky generation which witnessed this proud moment as SpaceX’s crew dragon carried two astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the international space station in Orbit. As the docking to international space station is happening today, I got tempted to it to know few facts.
Selection of the astronauts:
The process of Selection of Prestigious Astronauts is quite stringent. The candidates are expected to have fit physical body and mind with high amount of resilience, adaptability, curiosity and trust. There is no upper limit on age but have to be more than 18 years. The candidates leave their prestigious jobs to become astronauts. Qualification to become an astronaut is graduation in engineering, science and military domains. Bob Behnken holds PhD in mechanical engineering and has served US Air Force before becoming Astronaut. Doug Hurley is American engineer who has worked in marine Corps as pilot.
They are required learn Russian language apart from being proficient in English, the official language. For space mission, they will be trained for long travel, zero gravity conditions and other hard climate conditions. They are also trained to operate space shuttles. As you read this, the astronauts on a demo 2 mission have just done the manual flight test before the automatic docking of the crew Dragon spacecraft at the international space station in orbit. They are in constant communication with ground crew.
Thanks to the satellite and communication technologies, it is so exciting and amazing to know their experiences from spacecraft in orbit sitting in our houses. Their return to earth dates are not decided yet. Until then, they will be revolving around the earth in the orbit. As they do in their Dragon, I am excited to track them and their mission in Crew spacecraft at international space station. I am eager to know their discoveries in space. You can also follow their activities on www.space.com and Nasa’s Spacex Crew Dragon Spacecraft. I wish them exciting, exploratory and safe stay in orbit till they return back to earth. I am sure they will raise the limits further for new astronauts to challenge themselves further.
Imagine if this mission succeeds, possibilities for Man in space. I guess, I now understand the meaning of the ‘sky is the limit‘ or ‘break the limits’ which is exploring beyond. Do you agree?