The legendary and historical mission of the Dragon-2 manned capsule, the first private capsule to join the International Space Station, is still ongoing.
Everything will end when the capsule safely falls into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Then Elon Musk will declare a complete victory.
The head of SpaceX, his staff and NASA will be confident that the new private system for transporting astronauts into orbit is working and can be fully used.
Meanwhile, few people know that the protection of the capsule itself and its crew is provided by officers of the Space Forces, a new type of US armed forces created to ensure the safety of their interests outside our planet.
The 45th division of the 3rd operational group, the 45th space wing of the Patrick Air Force base, has about 150 employees and is supported by 8 different aircraft.
Currently, rescue units are being trained on manned SpaceX, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin capsule models for the fastest and safest evacuation of astronauts from spacecraft after their launch.
Despite the fact that the US Army rescue units have supported NASA operations for the past six decades, a completely new era has come in space travel.
Astronauts will be transported using capsules owned by private companies, not the government.
Each of the vehicles requires the creation of completely new safety procedures, which in turn determine the conduct of new training.
Interestingly, in the era of the Apollo program and the mission to the moon, the army deployed nearly 6,000 workers, 24 aircraft, and 7 warships, designed exclusively to save astronauts.
Now there will be much fewer resources because the army has much more advanced technologies for observing space objects, as well as their location and can take effective measures much faster.
“We must be prepared for the fact that Dragon-2 will leave orbit.”
I hope that SpaceX will intercept the capsule itself, but if an anomaly occurs, our team should be ready for the rescue operation, “said Michael Thompson, commander of the 45th detachment of the 3rd operational group of the 45th space wing of the Air Force base Patrick.
Thompson added that his task force will participate in future missions to ensure the safety of not only astronauts and space tourists, but also their colleagues, i.e. Space Force officers who will serve on the new military space station.
In the future, the Pentagon will build it, and soldiers and robots will be placed on it, as we have seen many times in science fiction films.