It is a game of catching the flag that has been taken for nine years and billions of dollars. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will claim a unique patriotic symbol that has been waiting for them at the International Space Station.
SpaceX seemed to telegraph its intentions to claim the flag way back in 2011 with a tweet: “SpaceX begins capture sequence …” SpaceX founder Elon Musk resumed the tweet on Sunday with a simple statement: “Nine years later.”
SpaceX was locked in a race with Boeing, the other company involved in NASA’s, to reach the ISS first. Boeing works through some , so SpaceX could claim the price.
The flag has a special connection to Hurley, who was one of the final bus members who left the artifact at ISS 2011.
In a, Hurley said the flag represents the hard work of thousands of NASA and SpaceX people who helped bring human launches back to US soil.
Hurley showed the flag. It now carries a note from NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, who was already on the ISS: “Don’t forget to bring the Crew Dragon.”
“We are lucky enough to be able to take it home,” Hurley said.
The flag’s journey is not supposed to end when it returns to our planet with the Crew Dragon.
“The flag will remain on board the station until the next crew launched from the United States fetches it to return to Earth so that it can be carried by the first crew launched from the United States on an exploration trip beyond the orbit,” NASA said in a 2011 statement on STS-135th
This means that the well-off flag can end up on the moon or even Mars one day. About NASA’sexercise, it may not have to wait long.