FLORIDA, USA — At 3:22 P.M. Eastern Time today, Saturday, May 30, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center, sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.
NASA‘s Commercial Crew Program is SpaceX’s first crewed launch from American soil which marked their first crewed flight since the retirement os the Space Shuttle in July 2011.
Ushering in a new era of human spaceflight, Elon Musk‘s Crew Dragon is the first-ever private spacecraft to take humans into orbit, a commercial venture funded by NASA.
The Dragon is a reusable spacecraft capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, the ISS or beyond. According to SpaceX, it is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
The Dragon spacecraft lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from the historic Launch Complex 39-A at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The Falcon is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond — making it the first orbital class rocket capable of reflight. Reusability allows SpaceX to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket, which in turn drives down the cost of space access.
In a statement on Forbes.com. “This is everything America has to offer in its purest form,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. “Times are tough right now. But I hope this moment in time is an opportunity for everybody to reflect on humanity and what we can do when we work together.”
Check the video below to watch the DEMO-2 mission.