Tech Byte: NASA space technology

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In this segment of Tech Byte, Emily Cassulo looks at how NASA is using tech to get astronauts up in space.

Technology has to be used to get our astronauts up into space safely and cost effectively.

Before going up, astronauts have to go through rigorous training. That means being in a simulator. 

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be flying SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will take them to the International Space Station.

They’re the first American astronauts going to the ISS from the U.S. since 2011. This mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

These astronauts spent hundreds of hours in the flight simulator to practice launching and docking the Crew Dragon. You can also try out an ISS docking simulator for yourself on SpaceX’s website.

NASA says the spacecraft’s system uses touch screens and physical manual control options.

The astronauts can use the touch screens with or without their high tech spacesuit gloves. The gloves are touch screen compatible and pair well with the custom-made spacesuits.

The suits are lightweight and protect the astronauts from potential depressurization. They also have a flame-resistant outer layer, and they can route communications and cooling systems while the astronauts are flying.

The helmets are made using a 3D printer. 

Behnken and Hurley are spending their last two weeks before liftoff in a routine preflight quarantine. This helps make sure they are healthy and protect others already at the ISS once they get there.

They’re expected to launch on May 27 at 4:33 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.