spacex falcon 9 rollout 1
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is rolled onto the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA/Joel Kowsky

In a joint undertaking between NASA and SpaceX, the Crew Dragon spacecraft was efficiently launched earlier than daybreak as we speak. The craft can be touring to the International Space Station (ISS) with supplies for the ISS crew and a dummy passenger to take a look at the security of finally ferrying actual passengers. This was SpaceX’s first launch of a crewed spaceship, and the launch was such a success that it nearly introduced CEO Elon Musk to tears.

The launch was not solely vital for SpaceX but additionally for the American house program. Fewer manned spacecraft missions have taken off from American areas lately as launch websites close to the equator are extra environment friendly, however this launch passed off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“This mission is an important step in returning human spaceflight to American soil,” Steve Stich, NASA launch supervisor and deputy supervisor of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, mentioned in a statement. “SpaceX and NASA teams are working side-by-side on this mission from start to finish as we have throughout this process. This flight test will inform the system design, operations and drive any changes that need to be made ahead of crew flights. We are ready to learn by flying.”

The launch used a Falcon 9 rocket and took off from Launch Complex 39A, overseen from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Control Center Firing Room four. This is the identical location which oversaw the countdown and liftoff of the most up-to-date 15 house shuttle missions. The purpose of the launch is to take a look at whether or not the craft’s autonomous methods are in a position to maneuver accurately and to dock with the ISS when the craft arrives there.

All went easily in the launch which was a nice reduction to Musk. “I’m a little emotionally exhausted,” he mentioned in a post-launch press convention. He additionally advised he was blissful his firm was making progress in direction of his final purpose of a manned spacecraft launch: “The whole goal of SpaceX was crewed spaceflight. Improved space exploration technologies,” he mentioned. “That’s actually the full name of the company, Space Exploration Technologies.”


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