Arrival of SpaceX's Dragon capsule at the International Space Station

Pablo Tucker
June 1, 2020

The launch was a historic event, marking the first time that NASA astronauts had entered the International Space Station from a commercially-made spacecraft, and also the first time in nine years that America had launched people into space.

Saturday's liftoff also assumes significance as it marks the launch of humans into orbit from U.S. soil for the first time in almost a decade.

Astronauts were last launched into space from the 2011, when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, retired its space shuttle fleet, forcing the rely on partnerships with Russia's space agency to carry US astronauts to the orbiting International Space Station.

Part of the U.S. space agency's Commercial Crew Program, this flight is SpaceX's final flight test before regular crewed flights begin to the ISS.

"Let's light this candle", Hurley said before liftoff.

A scheduled launch last Wednesday was delayed due to inclement weather.

Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday congratulated NASA and SpaceX for their manned mission and termed it as "historic".

The California-based SpaceX Aerospace owned by billionaire Elon Musk.

Said Musk: "It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA, and by a number of other partners", he said.

Both astronauts must complete a long stay at the ISS, which will be part of the Demo-2 mission.

Following the Crew Dragon capsule's launch into orbit its next milestone was to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) that successfully took place mid-morning EST on 31 May 2020. The two NASA astronauts aboard the flight have now joined the crew aboard the orbiting laboratory, where they will spend some time before hopping back into the Crew Dragon capsule and making a break for home.

SpaceX's missions to the moon and Mars suffered a setback last week, however, when a fourth Starship prototype rocket exploded in a giant fireball shortly after ignition of a static test.

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