After having their launch date pushed back due to weather, SpaceX was able to successfully launch two astronauts into orbit, nearly a decade after NASA’s last launch from U.S. soil.
From the same launchpad as the Apollo missions, Kennedy Space Center was home to another interstellar mission. At 3:22 p.m. on May 30 the launch was a go, two American NASA astronauts were launched into space. However, the launch wasn’t an ordinary one. The rocket and capsule used were made by a private company, SpaceX, not NASA.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, has lofty goals, and sending astronauts into space is just the start. Musk wants to send colonizers to Mars. Musk tweeted that his goal is to send roughly 100,000 people, three times a day, to Mars per orbital sync with Earth. Also adding that there would be “a lot of jobs on Mars.”
Crew Dragon consists of two veteran astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. The two were long awaiting the launch, both were selected in 2015 to join the group of astronauts working with SpaceX and were assigned the first launch by the privately owned company in 2018.
With the success of this launch, SpaceX doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Eventually the company plans on having private space missions.
“In addition to carrying astronauts to space for NASA, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft can also carry private passengers to Earth orbit, the ISS or beyond,” their website states.
While the next SpaceX launch has yet to be announced, we can expect to see a lot more space travel in the future.
“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about,” Musk stated. “It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”