SpaceX's Crew Dragon completes its historic mission to the ISS

March 3, 2019

 Early this morning, March 3rd, at 5:51am EST, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station. 

 

Crew Dragon was launched on the Falcon 9 rocket from LC-39a at 2:49am EST Saturday morning. 

 

This launch marked the first time that a crew vehicle has launched from the United States since 2011, when the Space Shuttle retired. This marked a moment in history for the US as well as SpaceX. This is the first time that a commercial crew vehicle has been launched to the International Space Station. 

 

It took 17 years since SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) was founded back in 2002 and their goal of launching humans into space just got one step closer to doing so. With Crew Dragon performing nominally, SpaceX is looking good to launch crew later this year after a successful In-Flight Abort test in a couple months. 

 

 Right now the only concerns for Crew Dragon after deorbiting is reentry stability, due to the asymmetric design of the capsule with the 4 superdraco abort pods. Crew Dragon is currently operation just as planned in space and has continued to pass milestones on the road to certify the vehicle for human spaceflight. In the future when Dragon is in regular operation, its seats will open up to commercial/private customers, but right now it's only to supply NASA's needs for the ISS. 

 

After a 5 day stay at the International Space Station, Dragon will undock and prepare to deorbit and reenter Earth's atmosphere, then splashdown off the east coast of Florida. 

 

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