We’re witnessing history in the making with the NASA and SpaceX Crew-1 mission, ladies and gentlemen. After the successful launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft – “Resilience” – from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida some twenty-seven hours ago, the four astronauts on board have now safely docked with the International Space Station, welcomed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins as well as Russia’s Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Sverchkov.
This undertaking is historic for several reasons. Not only does this mission represent:
- Crew Dragon capsule’s first fully operational flight
- SpaceX’s first fully operational crewed mission
- NASA’s first commercial human spacecraft system (privately owned + operated spacecraft)
- NASA’s first human space mission launched from US soil in almost a decade
- as well as the groundbreaking prospect of completely autonomous flight/return…
This also marks a new era of space travel which entails affordability and access like never before. As per The New York Times, in the future, any astronaut and civilian alike with enough money will be able to buy a ticket on a commercial rocket instead of relying on government-operated hardware.
“It seems like every time I come to Kennedy, we’re making history, and this is no different,” says Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator.
“NASA wants to be one customer of many customers in a very robust commercial marketplace for human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit.”
The Crew-1 astronauts – NASA’s Michael S. Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor J. Glover; Japan’s Soichi Noguchi – will spend the next six months on the ISS conducting a series of ongoing science experiments, spacewalks, and station maintenance before being joined by the Crew-2 astronauts, and returning from their rotation back down to solid Terra Firma.
You can also watch the initial NASA & SpaceX Crew-1 mission launch below (skip to 4:12:10 to watch the action begin).