NASA Astronauts Call SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket ‘Pure Flying Machine’ Compared to Space Shuttle

By  //  June 14, 2020

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"We didn’t even need to look at the speed"

ABOVE VIDEO: When NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley launched to the space station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavor spacecraft, the world was watching. They also took 90,000 people along for the ride in a mosaic of Earth that include photos of Class of 2020 graduates

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (FOX NEWS) – The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was a “pure flying machine” compared to the space shuttle, according to the astronauts who rode it into space.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken piloted the first manned flight of the Falcon 9 on May 30. Each astronaut had previously been on on two space shuttle missions, and they spoke of their surprise at how comparatively smooth the SpaceX launch was.

“From the time the engines lit, the first two-and-a-half minutes to staging was about like we expected, except you can never simulate the Gs, so as the Gs built you could certainly feel those,” Hurley told Spaceflight Now. “What I thought was really neat was how sensitive we were to the throttling of the Merlin engines. That was really neat. You could definitely sense that as we broke Mach 1.”

He added: “We didn’t even need to look at the speed. You could tell just by how the rocket felt, so it’s a very pure flying machine.”

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