The Associated PressJanuary 20, 2020 13:49:18
The astronauts launched by SpaceX in the coming months will reach rockets in high fashion. Instead of using a retro-style astrovan, SpaceX teams travel to the launch platform in Tesla sports cars.
Elon Musk, who also runs SpaceX and the electric car company, used Teslas to bypass the Kennedy Space Center for Sunday's launch leak test. No one was on board for the test flight, just two dummies. But during a launch rehearsal on Friday, the two NASA astronauts assigned to the first SpaceX crew got a ride to the platform on a Tesla Model X.
Elegant white and black space suits were worn by astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken for Friday practice, matching the Tesla white roadster with wing-shaped doors waiting for them outside Kennedy's crew quarters. A SpaceX employee took them to the scene. A second white X model carried the SpaceX support team.
A SpaceX spokesman confirmed Sunday that this will be the transport for the crew's missions in the future. The first launch of the SpaceX crew, with Hurley and Behnken, may take place from April.
"This is part of the game in which we learn to work with a commercial supplier," said NASA spokesman Joshua Santora.
Boeing, which also plans to pilot NASA astronauts this year, maintains the vintage look. She plans to use a new Airstream van, shiny and similar to the astrovans used for decades by NASA.
Two years ago, next month, Musk launched his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket's debut flight. The convertible – with a space mannequin called Starman behind the wheel – was placed in an orbit that passed through Mars.
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