The Crew Dragon capsule, aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida owned by NASA, on schedule at 2:49 AM, on Saturday.
No human crew was aboard Crew Dragon because it was only a test flight that was designed in such a way that could demonstrate the potential for carrying on a commercial spacecraft astronauts into orbit. As the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off in a ball of smoke, fire and flash of light early Saturday, a crowd cheered. It reached speeds upwards of 4,000 mph within minutes as it gained altitude.
About 11 minutes after launch the capsule and rocket separated. Along with the International Space Station, the Crew Dragon will go on to autonomously dock at about 6 AM ET Sunday. For five days the plans call for the craft to remain docked with that station. It will then undock on 8th of March and re-enter the atmosphere of the Earth and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 AM ET.
SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon towards ISS, getting the US closer to sending astronauts to the space station on their own
Since the space shuttle program was retired by NASA 8 years ago, in 2011, it needed to hitch rides with Russian space vehicles to get its astronauts to the International Space Station. To do so, NASA had to pay $82 million a seat to the Russians from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
According to Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, “today’s successful launch marks a new chapter in American excellence, getting us closer to once again flying American Astronauts on American rockets from American soil.”
At about 3 AM on Saturday, according to SpaceX, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It has become the 35th successful landing of one of the rocket boosters that Elon Musk’s company performed.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.