NASA 5 Aug 2020

#AskNASA┃ How Do We Launch Astronauts from the United States to the Space Station?


NASA is enabling safe, reliable, and cost-effective crew transportation to and from the International Space Station from two private companies - Spacex and Boeing. NASA's Commercial Crew Program represents a revolutionary approach to government and commercial collaborations for the advancement of space exploration.

For the first time in history, NASA astronauts launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft to the space station. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley launched May 31 on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They returned to Earth and splashed down in the Dragon Endeavor capsule on Sunday, Aug. 2, off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.

Known as NASA's SpaceX Demo-2, the mission is an end-to-end test flight to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launch, in-orbit, docking and landing operations. The program demonstrates NASA's commitment to investing in commercial companies through public-private partnerships and builds on the success of American companies, including SpaceX, already delivering cargo to the space station. Boeing will also complete an uncrewed flight test followed by a crewed flight test for certification to fly NASA astronauts to the space station.

Informal comments to the media by the permanent representative of Germany, Christoph Heusgen and the permanent representative of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Allen on the human rights situation in China (Xinjiang region and Hong Kong).

In a cross-regional joint statement, 39 countries expressed grave concern about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong.

Speaking on behalf of the 39 countries, German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen told reporters today (06 Oct) that the joint statement is "a clear signal that the concerns about the Chinese policy toward the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, this concern is growing and it is a worldwide concern."

Ambassador Heusgen said, "with this signal, we combine our demand to request that China close the detention camps in Xinjiang, that China stops tearing down mosques, religious sites, that China stops force labour, that China also stops forced birth control."

On Hong Kong, British Ambassador Jonathan Allen told reporters, "the imposition of a national security law is a serious breach of the legally binding Sino-British joint Declaration, it violates Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and it directly threatens rights and freedom."

Ambassador Allen continued, "it has been implemented with the apparent intention to eliminate dissent. And it is precisely because we recognize China's role in the world, that we expect China to live up to its international obligations and its international responsibilities."

The British Ambassador reiterated, "there must be respect for international law and for human rights which is universal in all countries, so we call on China to reconsider its approach."

The cross-regional joint statement includes the following 39 countries: Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany. Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States.
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For more, tonight's panel includes Dr. Jeff Pothof, the Chief Quality Officer and Emergency Physician at the University of Wisconsin Health System; Dr. Calvin Sun, an Attending Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine; Dr. Kate Tulenko, CEO and Founder of Corvus Health and Joseph Williams, a Senior News Editor with US News and World Report.

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