ew Era of Human Spaceflight
Over the weekend, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley stepped into the Crew Dragon spacecraft, and into the history books.
Behnken and Hurley became the first Americans in nine years to launch on an American made rocket from American soil to the International Space Station (ISS). Back in 2014, NASA's Commercial Crew Program selected Boeing and SpaceX to transport crew to the ISS from the United States, and on Saturday, they did just that.
The successful launch was followed one day later by the successful docking at the
where they joined Expedition 63 Commander and NASA astronaut
and Russian cosmonauts
Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Yesterday, the three American astronauts aboard the ISS rang the opening bell on the Nasdaq.
Known as NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2, the mission is an end-to-end test flight to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launch, in-orbit, docking and landing operations and pave the way for regular crew flights to the station as part of
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
. Their successful docking completed many of their test objectives; the rest will be completed as the spacecraft operates as part of the space station, then at the conclusion of its mission as it undocks and descends for a parachute landing in the Atlantic Ocean.
NASA's Commercial Crew Program is a partnership to develop and fly human space transportation systems. The goal is to have safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and foster commercial access to other potential low-Earth orbit destinations. Chief Space-X engineer Elon Musk said earlier in the week that the project is aimed at "reigniting the dream of space and getting people fired up about the future."