After some setbacks, including a few days’ delay due to unfavorable winds, SpaceX is making history again, this time with NASA. More than just launching humans into space again aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, the Crew-1 mission represents an important milestone for NASA and the United States. For the first time since 2011, an official crew rotation is being launched from the United States with a US-made missile and in the US, opening the doors to more missions, both commercial and government, provided everything goes according to plan, of course.
The extremely successful SpaceX Demo-2 launch and comeback that occurred in May was the company’s first historic mission that carried humans on board. This result was that NASA had been waiting for years to move its commercial crew program towards its final stages. Before that, however, SpaceX needs to demonstrate its ability to perform more regular and formal missions, including this feat in the history of American space science.
Since the end of the US space shuttle program in 2011, all NASA missions have relied on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to take their astronauts to the International Space Station, for example. While it has enhanced international cooperation in space, few would argue that there are certainly benefits to independence in the long run. Rather than relying on its capabilities alone, NASA began a commercial crew program so that it could ride the rockets developed by commercial companies like Boeing and, of course, SpaceX.
The Crew-1 was successfully launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at around 7:30 pm, and Eastern and SpaceX reported that the Crew Dragon capsule carrying astronauts successfully detached from the second stage of a Falcon 9 rocket at 7:41 pm, possibly It is no longer unusual. So far however it is still worth noting that the first stage of the booster missile has safely landed on board the SpaceX “read instructions only” drone.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule currently carries only four astronauts, three from NASA and one from Japanese JAXA, although the total capacity is for seven humans to be on board. If the mission proves successful, NASA will likely fill the room soon once the previous space shuttle has moved to eight. The Crew-1 is expected to dock with the International Space Station on Monday, November 16 at 11 PM ET.