This week American astronauts are scheduled to take off from US soil for the first time since 2011. The first SpaceX Crew Dragon launch carrying people into space is scheduled for May 27th.
This historic launch is a huge milestone for spaceflight. Not only is it the first time Americans have launched from the US since the shuttle retired, but it’s the first time a private company has launched people to the International Space Station.
It takes a lot of work to design, build, and certify a human launch vehicle. The iconic Space Shuttle was proposed in 1969 and the design was approved in 1972. The five completed shuttle orbiters were in operation from 1981 to 2011 and completed over 1300 days in space. When it was retired, the United States lost its ability to send astronauts into space and have been relying on Russia to send crew members to the ISS.
SpaceX has been developing rockets since 2002 and has had its shares of ups and downs. The company’s first launches failed and they would have gone bankrupt in 2008 had they not succeeded on their fourth mission. Since then, they have been the first private company to launch a liquid propelled rocket into orbit (2008), recover a spacecraft (2010), send a spacecraft to the ISS (2012), and land a rocket back on Earth (2017).
Now they aim to be the first private company to launch humans into orbit.
The Crew Dragon capsule that will bring astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space to dock with the ISS is currently sitting on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX has been developing the Dragon 2 capsule for several years under the NASA Commercial Space program. While the program has made tremendous progress, it has also had its setbacks. On April 20, 2019, the Crew Dragon demo capsule exploded while on the test stand.
If successful, this mission will pave the way for the privatization of space activities. I’ve written previously about the opportunities for Alberta in space. As more people start to visit space, rockets will need more fuel to move around. This fuel can be made from ice deposits on the Moon – our Alberta Oil Sands projects possess the technology to extract, process, and store water to use in rocket fuel.
We are about to enter a new era of spaceflight that will drive innovation. Alberta is fully capable to contribute to and participate in the opportunities that will arise from this new era.
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.
Exercise in ‘patience’ pays off for Kadri, says winning a factor in joining Flames
By David Alter
Nazem Kadri said the Calgary Flames expressed interest the moment he became an unrestricted free agent, but it was an “elaborate process” before he finally signed on the dotted line on Thursday.
“The patience definitely did me some good,” Kadri told reporters in a Zoom call Friday. “There were some decisions to be made.”
The Flames’ wild off-season took another dramatic turn Thursday when the team signed the coveted free agent to a seven-year, US$49-million deal.
Before the deal could be made official, Calgary sent forward Sean Monahan and a conditional 2025 first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for future considerations in a move to create salary cap space for Kadri’s contract.
“That’s part of the reason why it’s been taking so long,” Kadri said from Paris, where he is on vacation.
The 32-year-old Kadri was one of the biggest names available in free agency after an all-star season with Colorado that ended with the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup.
The benefits of returning to Canada, where his NHL career started, and taking part in the ‘Battle of Alberta’ with the provincial-rival Edmonton Oilers were benefits to signing with the Flames, but what ultimately led him to sign was how close he feels the team is to winning a Stanley Cup.
“Ultimately, it’s about winning and that played a huge factor in me coming to Calgary,” Kadri said. “The time is now and it certainly can be close with the moves we’ve made and me hopping on board.”
The 31-year-old Kadri had 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) in 71 games for the Avalanche in 2021-22. He added 15 points in 16 playoff games, including the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final against Tampa Bay.
That was his return to action after being injured in Game 3 of the Western Conference final after being hit from behind by Edmonton forward Evander Kane.
Kadri’s addition capped a wild off-season for the Flames that saw star forward Johnny Gaudreau walk away in free agency.
The Flames’ leading scorer last season (115 points), and a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, Gaudreau informed the Flames before the start of the free agency period that we would not be re-signing with the Flames in a desire to move closer to home.
The New Jersey native signed a seven-year, $68.25-million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets when free agency opened on July 13,.
Calgary was then informed that forward Matthew Tkachuk, who had a breakout season with 42 goals and 104 points, would not sign a contract extension after the upcoming season.
What looked like a potential nightmare for Calgary started to turn around when the Flames dealt Tkachuk to Florida for a package that included forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who had 115 points last season, and defenceman Mackenzie Weegar.
The Flames then locked up Huberdeau long-term with an eight-year, $84-million contract extension.
“It’s alarming to anybody when you lose players of that magnitude,” Kadri said. “But I think Brad (Flames GM Brad Treliving) has done a great job getting some return and valuable players.”
This is not the first time the Flames have tried to add Kadri to their roster. The Flames attempted to acquire him from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019, but Kadri used the no-trade clause in his contract to veto the deal. Kadri was then traded to the Avalanche on July 1, 2019.
“I didn’t see myself leaving (Toronto),” Kadri said about the situation. “That had nothing to do with the city of Calgary or the organization, I just wanted to stay where I was.
“It’s important for me to clarify that. I think it’s important because I’ve always admired the city of Calgary and Canada in general. I’m a Canadian boy. I love playing in Canada but it’s certainly ironic, but it was always a team that was on my radar.”
Kadri was selected seventh overall by Toronto in the 2009 NHL draft and has 512 points (219 goals, 293 assists) in 739 career games with the Maple Leafs and Colorado.
The London, Ontario native has yet to have his day with the Stanley Cup, but his plans include taking it to his hometown.
He also said he’s going to bring it to Toronto, where he spent his first eight NHL seasons.
“I’ve done a lot of growing up in that city as well and there’s been lots of supports of mine there,” he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2022.
Reports: Flames closing in on signing UFA forward Nazem Kadri
The Calgary Flames are closing in on a deal to sign unrestricted free agent Nazem Kadri, according to multiple media reports.
Sportsnet reported the deal is for seven years at US$7 million per season.
The Flames, according to Sportsnet and TSN, are moving forward Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens to create salary cap space for Kadri’s contract. Details of that trade have not been released.
The 32-year-old Kadri was one of the biggest names available in free agency after an All-Star season with Colorado that ended with the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup.
Kadri had 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) in 71 games for the Avalanche in 2021-22.
He added 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 16 playoff games, including the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final against Tampa Bay. That was his return to action after being injured in Game 3 of the Western Conference final after being hit from behind by Edmonton forward Evander Kane.
Kadri’s signing would be the latest chapter of a chaotic off-season for the Flames.
Calgary lost leading scorer and Hart Trophy candidate Johnny Gaudreau to the Columbus Blue Jackets early in free agency, then was informed that star forward Matt Tkachuk would not sign a contract extension after the upcoming season.
The Flames dealt Tkachuk to Florida for a package that included forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who had 115 points last season, and defenceman Mackenzie Weegar.
The Flames then locked up Huberdeau long-term with an eight-year, US$84-million contract extension.
Monahan, selected sixth overall by the Flames in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has played nine seasons in Calgary. The three-time 30-goal scorer tallied just eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 65 games last season.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 222.
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