SpaceX launches unmanned capsule to space station

SpaceX UNMANNED Crew Dragon V2 launched - Falcon 9 rocket leaves Kennedy Space Center | Daily Star

"SpaceX's Crew Dragon, created to transport astronauts to the International Space Station from US soil, is flying on its own in orbit following an on-time launch".

The SpaceX rocket took off this morning from Florida carrying only a test dummy. SpaceX needs to nail the debut of the capsule before putting people on board later this year.

The capsule is scheduled to reach the ISS by Sunday at around 11am with a return to Earth next Friday. NASA hasn't launched humans to space since 2011, when the Space Shuttle program ended. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. SpaceX plans to recycle the newly flying capsule for a high-altitude abort test this spring, along with a booster launched and retrieved a week ago. The spacecraft will rely on its computers to autonomously fly the spacecraft gently alongside the station and then attach itself to one of the docking ports.

Planning has been delayed by around three years, with the first manned SpaceX flight still pencilled in for July, though officials frequently refer to the end of 2019 as a more realistic deadline.

"This is a critically important event in American history", the head of the United States space agency, Jim Bridenstine, told reporters on Friday, with the rocket and capsule visible behind him on the legendary launch pad where the Apollo missions to the Moon began. No private company has ever launched humans into orbit, and during a webcast of the launch, SpaceX employees could be seen packed into the main foyer of the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., cheering each milestone.

Speaking of the Atlantic, the reusable Falcon 9 booster that launched Crew Dragon successfully landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship drifting along in said ocean, approximately 10 minutes after liftoff.

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Boeing also received a contract in 2014 to develop a space vessel, the Starliner.

Now NASA said it is on the verge of recapturing some of the national pride that has been a hallmark of its human spaceflight program since the beginning of the Space Age.

"Seeing a success like this definitely gives us a lot of confidence in the future, " Behnken said. "It's done. Now we're in a position where we can take our time and make sure we get it right".

At Saturday's post-launch news conference, Musk said he'd be happy to fly on the revamped Dragon. Musk said the redesigned capsule has "hardly a part in common" with its predecessor.

"The next big leap in a new chapter of US human spaceflight systems has left the pad", NASA wrote on Twitter.

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