Opinion: NASA-SpaceX partnership reviving American space programs

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The SpaceX Crew Dragon is set to return from Earth orbit on August 1, 2020, according to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Capsule splashdown is scheduled for August 2.

On Tuesday, July 21, NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken ventured out of the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct a spacewalk. They were sent to the ISS to complete work on a 3.5-year effort to upgrade the station’s power system. This is the 300th spacewalk since 1965 when astronaut Edward White stepped out of his Gemini 4 capsule.

There have been 231 spacewalks on the space station to perform assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. Cassidy and Behnken are conducting their ninth and 10th spacewalk, respectively, joining former NASA astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria and Peggy Whitson, boasting the most spacewalks among Americans.

SpaceX on schedule despite the pandemic

2020 marks almost 20 years of humans living and working continuously aboard the ISS. The result has been breakthrough discoveries, new technologies, and steadily advancing scientific knowledge. 239 people from 19 countries have visited the microgravity space station, contributing to research.