The Future of Space Travel

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered, “What’s out there?” Well, we are about to find out as we enter a new era of space travel.

The last time an American spacecraft carrying a crew launched was on July 8th, 2011 aboard the orbiter Atlantis. Since then the United States has been relying on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz to take US crew to and from the International Space Station, the ISS for short.

However, NASA is now shifting over from buying tickets on the Soyuz to hiring US companies like Space X and Boeing to bring their supplies and astronauts up to the stars.

A Little History On The ISS

The ISS was launched in 1998 and it became the most ambitious international collaboration ever attempted as well as the largest space station ever constructed. Eighteen different countries, and counting, have visited the station.

They include Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, France, Russia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, and many more.

The ISS is massive, having a pressurized volume of 32,333 cubic feet! Because of its great size the whole ISS could not simply be brought up by a rocket. You may be wondering, “How in the world did we launch the ISS into space then?” Well just like a puzzle the ISS came up in many many pieces that had to be fitted together, all while still orbiting the earth at 4.76 miles per second! There have been at least 33 different parts brought up and fitted together to make the space station. With all its pieces put together, the ISS cost around 150 billion dollars and weighed about 925,300 pounds, or over 450 tons!

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

According to NASA the Commercial Crew Program has worked with several American aerospace industry companies to promote the development of U.S. human spaceflight systems since 2010.

The goal of this program is to find a reliable, safe, and cost-effective process that can get U.S. crew to and from the International Space Station as well as a few other destinations.