The new SpaceX Crew Dragon is named after the first spacecraft to bring an American into space

“FREEDOM !! Crew-4 will fly to the International Space Station in a new Dragon capsule called ‘Freedom’,” Lindgren posted on Twitter. “The name celebrates a fundamental human right and the industry and change that come from the unimpeded human spirit. »

“Through the Commercial Crew Program, NASA and SpaceX have restored a national capability and we have honored the ingenuity and hard work of those involved. Alan Shepard started Freedom 7 in the early days of manned spaceflight. We are honored to bring freedom to a new generation.

Shepard, one of Mercury 7’s astronauts, left on May 5, 1961 for NASA’s Mercury-Redstone 3 suborbital mission. He chose “Freedom” for the name of his spacecraft in reference to the Cold War space race between the United States and the Soviet Union at the time. The “7” is because the capsule is the seventh in the factory line, though when asked by the press, Shepard said it was a symbol of friendship with his other six Mercury astronauts.

“Freedom 7” is currently in the care of the Smithsonian’s National Aerospace Museum, which plans to display the capsule in its new gallery “Destination Moon” when it opens later this year.

According to the website space.comthe museum will also display the un -flight Mercury spacecraft that Shepard unofficially named “Freedom 7 II” in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a second Mercury mission.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom will depart on April 19th

The SpaceX Crew Dragon “Freedom” marked the second time a crew has looked at previous NASA references to name their vehicle. The company’s first capsule to launch astronauts on the ISS was called “Endeavor” after Demo-2 personnel’s first shared trip into space.

“We both made our first flights on the Space Shuttle Endeavor, and it meant a lot to us to continue with this name. So that’s what we decided to use,” said Doug Hurley, who with Bob Benkhen announced the name. -about three hours after arriving in orbit aboard the Cre Dragon ‘Endeavor’ in May 2020. It is also the name of the Apollo 15 command module that orbited the Moon on its fourth lunar landing mission in 1971.

The second Dragon Crew was named “Resilience” as a tribute to the NASA and SpaceX teams that worked during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to advance the mission.

In turn, the “Endurance” Crew Dragon, now docked in the orbital laboratory, was named by members of the Crew-3 mission for several reasons, including the tenacity of the human spirit during Space exploration efforts is advancing in new ways. direction and the historical connection of the name to Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition that crossed Antarctica. Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’, found recently under the sea, was trapped in the ice and its crew faced several months of hardship before being rescued.

After being assembled at the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California, the ‘Freedom’ capsule was delivered to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will soon undergo final preparations for the launch of the Crew mission. -4 at the space station.

“My whole career, ‘The Sound of Freedom’ has been defined by the sound of jets. From April 19 it will be even better,” Crew-4 pilot Hines wrote on Twitter. “We named our spacecraft Freedom, in honor of the freedom we hold. Focus on April 19 to hear the Sound of Freedom as Crew-4 launches the ISS!

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