On May 30, 2020, a Crew Dragon mission has proofed its strategic feasibility. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley flew on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and were successfully caught up with the International Space Station several hours after the launch. After departing astronauts, the spacecraft has successfully landed on Earth, hopefully, celebrating the era of commercial space flights. The mission is ambitious and outstanding because of 2 facts: 1) this is the first time in history when a privately owned company supplies spaceships and 2) this the first mission that promises reusable rocket launch system that, in turn, reduces costs dramatically, making space flights more affordable for governments and – who knows? – even private individuals.
Due to the exceptional importance of the Mission, we’ve decided to figure out its major milestones – from the very beginning to May 2020.
2002 – the SpaceX company (full name - Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) was formed by Elon Musk. The ambitious mission, namely the colonization of Mars, was declared, attracting the attention of the media and potential investors. SpaceX has developed several launch vehicles before launching its famous Dragon spacecraft.
2012 – ten years after its origin, SpaceX has launched the 1st Dragon spacecraft. Why Dragon is revolutionary in its kind? The spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. This is exactly what makes the rocket unique. Moreover, as of 2020, it was the only spacecraft capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
When it comes to the space rocket development, effective areas inside are counted down to square centimeters The Dragon spacecraft has more free space per 1 astronaut than none of the existing, making crew stay more comfortable.
2019 – the Crew Dragon has docked with the International Space Station (ISS), becoming the first American spacecraft to autonomously dock with the orbiting laboratory.
2020 – SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft was successfully lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket and the crew was then delivered to ISS. The Crew Dragon is expected to remain docked to the station for six weeks to four months.
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