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SpaceX launches first Dragon crew capsule into space

SpaceX launches first Dragon crew capsule into space

Elon Musk's SpaceX was due to launch an unmanned crew capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket early on Saturday, bound for the International Space Station, a major step toward National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) goal of reviving the USA human spaceflight programme this year. If everything isn't ideal and ready to go right at 2:49 a.m. EST, the launch will be pushed back to Tuesday at the earliest. Demo-1 is the first test mission of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft and rocket designed for humans.

On March 8, the capsule will undock from the ISS and travel back to Earth.

If it's given the green light, SpaceX would also be the first private company to send an astronaut capsule with crew to the space station.

March 2, 2019 A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the company's Dragon spacecraft, lifts off an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Dragon will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast at approximately 8:45 a.m. "Today's successful launch marks a new chapter in American excellence, getting us closer to once again flying American Astronauts on American rockets from American soil", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a tweet.

Both companies have received billions of dollars from NASA to develop spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts safely to and from the station.

NASA is anxious for reliable transit to and from the space station.




SpaceX's first crewed mission, which will fly NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, could happen by July, according to NASA's most recent schedule.

Anne McClain, the American aboard the space station, says she's looking forward to saying hello.

The new space vehicle, carrying only cargo and a human dummy, launched Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Furthermore, the crew variant of Dragon 2 is one of two spacecraft that will return domestic crew launch capability to the United States, the other being Boeing's CST-100 Starliner.

The dummy is nicknamed Ripley, in honour of Ellen Ripley, the fictional character played by Sigourney Weaver in the 1979 film, Alien, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of Build and Flight Reliability, revealed on Thursday in a pre-launch news briefing. Astronauts have been stuck riding Russian rockets ever since NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011. Around 11 minutes later, the Falcon 9 boosters and capsule detached from one another successfully.

The excitement was palpable Friday at Cape Canaveral, where a day earlier the rocket was wheeled out of its hangar and staged in a vertical position on the legendary launch pad where the Apollo Moon missions took off.

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