SpaceX launches spaceship created to carry astronauts

SpaceX launches spaceship created to carry astronauts

SpaceX launches spaceship created to carry astronauts

Although SpaceX has been flying a cargo-based version of the Dragon to the station since 2012, the new Dragon has been entirely remade for crew.

NASA's commercial crew program is a plan to return to space on American rockets. It docked autonomously, instead of relying on the station's robot arm for help.

They rushed there from Florida after watching the Dragon rocket into orbit early Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Just two hours after the Dragon's grand entrance, the station crew entered to take air samples.

He congratulated SpaceX in a tweet Sunday morning, noting the Crew Dragon was the first spacecraft to visit the station's forward port since he departed aboard the shuttle Atlantis.

The uncrewed flight, or Demo-1 mission, will provide SpaceX the chance to prove its spacecraft is safe, reliable and ready to carry live astronauts.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk, who founded the company in 2002, was at the space centre for the occasion.

The Dragon was only carrying a dummy pilot, but SpaceX aims to start flying American astronauts later this year and put an end to the years-long reliance on Russian Federation to ferry crew to and from the ISS.

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Saturday's flight is a dress rehearsal for the first manned spaceflight from United States soil since the Space Shuttle was grounded in 2011. Now Russian rockets are the only way to get astronauts to the 250-mile-high outpost.

The launch is a key step towards resuming manned space flights from USA soil after an eight-year break. SpaceX employees at company headquarters in Hawthorne, California, cheered the docking, then burst into applause again when the Dragon's latches were secured.

Dragon blasted off from NASA's Florida spaceport in the middle of Saturday night, watched by thousands of fascinated onlookers, and reached space minutes later.

But Musk has admitted that marketing travel in the Dragon capsule is not a priority - and he is more interested in distant exploration of the solar system.

SpaceX and Boeing are part of the $8 billion Commercial Crew Program.

International Space Station approach zones Two zones dictate how vehicles approach the International Space Station: the approach ellipsoid, which is 4-by-2 kilometers wide, and a smaller keep out sphere, which is 200 meters wide. After the shuttle programme was shuttered in July 2011 following a 30-year run, Nasa began outsourcing the logistics of its space missions.

Next up, though, is Boeing, which is looking to launch its Starliner capsule without a crew as early as April and with a crew possibly in August.

"We're doing things that are really risky and the designs and the complexity of what we have to do. we're strapping human beings on top of rockets with millions of pounds of thrust and hurling them into orbit. that isn't trivial".

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