Elon Musk’s SpaceX made history after becoming the first private company to successfully send astronauts into orbit.
A new era in space travel has begun after two veteran NASA astronauts were headed for the International Space Station by SpaceX.
The launch was so important because it was NASA’s first human spaceflight launching from US soil in nearly a decade. For this spaceflight, NASA uses SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket.
Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and full of smoke from Florida’s historic Kennedy Space Center.
Both astronauts are expected to reach the International Space Station (ISS) after a 19-hour journey. They will join Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and US astronaut Chris Cassidy in the ISS.
Behnken and Hurley blasted off from the same LaunchPad used by Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11’s 1969 journey to the Moon.
After reaching the space station, they will spend one to four months there. Then the capsule will glide and fall in the Atlantic Ocean.
For the first time, the manual controls have been used in the space shuttle and are justified. Because Crew Dragon will be used regularly for operational human flights in Space Tourism. Companies like Boeing, BlueOrigin already in the race.
The launch had originally been scheduled for Wednesday. But the officials have no choice instead of delayed because of bad weather conditions. It is also remained uncertain on Saturday as the weather condition still in the bad stage until liftoff.
US President Donald Trump attended the launch, among with nearly 4,000 people at the Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk celebrates after the launch and said this is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilization on Mars.
After the US space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA depends on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan (Baikonur Cosmodrome) to take US astronauts to and from the space station.
The Crew Dragon mission was started to produce a lower-cost alternative to human spaceflight.
The US space agency paid more than $3 billion to SpaceX to design, build, test, and operate its reusable Dragon capsule for six future space round trips.
You can actually try the manual control system used by Behnken and Hurley to fly the spacecraft. No spaceship required and all you need is a browser and the ISS Docking Simulator created and released by SpaceX.