NASA Astronauts Launch On a Historic Test Flight of SpaceX Crew Dragon

NASA Astronauts Launch On a Historic Test Flight of SpaceX Crew Dragon

Following a successful SpaceX Demo-2 mission, NASA and SpaceX hope to use the Crew Dragon to send and return astronauts to the ISS on a regular basis.

The first launch was scheduled for May 27, but poor weather prompted a "launch scrub" which meant that it was forced to go to a secondary time slot of Saturday, May 30 at 12:22 p.m. EDT.

SpaceX has gone from strength to strength in its launch capabilities in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center and nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, going from 11 rocket launches in 2019 to a proposed 38 in 2020.

Since 2011, worldwide space agencies, including NASA, have been relying on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, created by the national space agency Roscosmos, to taxi astronauts to and from the ISS for cost reasons.

Demo-2 marks the first launch of NASA astronauts on a commercial spacecraft and the first launch of American astronauts into orbit on a USA -built vehicle from America since 2011.

The docking is another accomplishment for the Crew Dragon's first test flight with humans aboard.

That will mean the USA once again has domestic human launch capabilities, something it hasn't been able to claim since it ended the Space Shuttle program in 2011. I tried to connect to the ISS and we got connected.

Of course, both NASA and SpaceX have already deemed that potential issue to be minuscule and Crew Dragon completed its first flawless orbital reentry and splashdown in March 2019. While the mission is completely automated, both Behnken and Hurley retain the ability to manually control the capsule and will in fact do so as part of the flight, which SpaceX initially didn't want to do.

Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday congratulated NASA and SpaceX for their manned mission and termed it as "historic". Once safely returned to dry land, SpaceX will be able to reuse that booster on any number of upcoming commercial launches, possibly including missions for NASA.

The Crew Dragon then slowed its speed to a little less than 0.33 feet per second.

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