The next batch of four NASA astronauts will travel to the International Space Station ISS in a pair of recycled SpaceX rocket and capsule. NBC News says the reliance of NASA on SpaceX proves the space agency's trust in Elon Musk and his SpaceX. Earlier, the rockets and capsules used in missions to the ISS were single-use items, but Elon Musk changed that concept. He retrieved the rocket and capsule and converted them to the reusable category.

This ensured saving of funds and economy in operation and endeared Musk to NASA. In June 2017, SpaceX reusable rockets proved their worth with 11 successful landings.

Astronauts will travel in SpaceX reusable rocket and capsule

NBC News reports that the next batch of crewmembers for the ISS will make the journey in a recycled SpaceX rocket and capsule. This will be the third crew flight for NASA with the involvement of SpaceX within a year. Elon Musk and his SpaceX played a major role in ending the reliance of the United States on Russia for transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The American space shuttle used to ferry astronauts to the ISS, but in 2011, it was retired. At that time, Russia took over the responsibility, but it proved to be a costly affair. That opened the doors for a private agency like SpaceX to enter the scene.

Incidentally, this space lab came into being in 1998, and it is a joint effort of America, Russia, the ESA, Japan, and Canada. Scientists from various disciplines have been working together in the lab to generate information that would benefit the world. They have experimented on growing plants in the lab and have done extensive research on different aspects of human behavior in space.

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These are preparatory work before embarking on the colonization of other planets. SpaceX has gradually become an important player in the scheme of things. NBC News mentions an official of SpaceX who said the company has already put six people in space, and the number would increase to 10 with the latest launch.

The crew in this SpaceX flight will be international

The first member is a woman. Her name is Megan McArthur, and she would occupy the same seat in the same capsule as her husband Bob Behnken did during a test flight to the International Space Station. Megan, a mother of a 7-year-old son, would be away from her family for six months.

Another crew member is NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. He is a retired Army colonel and commander of the spacecraft. Megan McArthur, an oceanographer, will be his pilot. The third member of the team is Thomas Pesquet, a former pilot of Air France. He will represent the European Space Agency.

The fourth member is Akihiko Hoshide, a Japanese engineer. He has been associated with the Japanese Space Agency for nearly three decades and had helped build the space station.

NBC News goes on to add that this team would replace the existing team on ISS consisting of one Japanese and three American astronauts. They have been in the space lab since November. There would be an overlap of five days between the teams. On the return journey, the SpaceX capsule would splash down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida on April 28.

SpaceX has become an integral part of space travel

According to the Military, once the new batch of astronauts arrives at the International Space Station, they will get an opportunity to interact with the existing team who would return to Earth. That would help the newcomers to settle down in a new environment.

The return date would be April 28, and NASA is coordinating with the Coast Guard to ensure the landing site is free of pleasure boats. Elon Musk created SpaceX that is poised to feature prominently in manned missions to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX has become an integral part of space travel.