SpaceX Crew Dragon Launches with 4 Astronauts

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This undated photo made available by SpaceX in September 2020 shows, from left, NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi inside SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. The four are scheduled to be SpaceX’s second crew launch in mid-November 2020. (SpaceX via AP)

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, developed by SpaceX, was launched to transport four astronauts to the ISS on its first official space mission. This launch made the Crew Dragon the first private vehicle to carry a person into space.

SpaceX, the space transport company, of which Elon Musk was the CEO, carried out a historic mission about 5 months ago, carrying two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and made history as the first private company to bring astronauts to space.

Last night, there was another historic launch for SpaceX. On the flight named Crew-1, three NASA astronauts and a JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Research Agency) astronaut were launched into the ISS in a capsule named Crew Dragon. While this was not the first SpaceX flight to bring a person into space, it was the first operational flight to be considered a ‘mission’. Because the flight in the past months was a test.

The moment when Crew Dragon became the world’s first private vehicle to carry a person into space

The flight, which started with the launch last night and will end with the arrival of astronauts to the ISS tonight, is considered the first operational mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft because space agencies are entering a new era in their efforts to send astronauts to space with this mission.

In other words, the launch that took place last night was the second mission of SpaceX to take people into space, but it was the first real long-term mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Because the launch, which took place in recent months, was basically a test and was a proof that Crew Dragon could carry people into space. Last night’s launch made Crew Dragon the first private vehicle to officially transport people into space.

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The Crew Dragon capsule, launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, can be automatically connected to the ISS without any intervention from the crew inside. In addition, the Falcon 9 rocket, which carried the Crew Dragon into space, returned to the landing pad in the Atlantic Ocean after the launch was completed. If all goes well, the same Falcon 9 rocket will be used in the next mission called Crew-2.

Live replay of SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission


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