Published: Thu, March 07, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Elon Musk & NASA want to send civilians to the space station

Elon Musk & NASA want to send civilians to the space station

This mission was to demonstrate that astronauts can be sent off into space.

The three current ISS crew members entered the SpaceX capsule in space for the first time on Sunday as part of the SpaceX Demo-1 test mission, which itself was crew-less.

Monday, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 58 Commander Oleg Kononenko went over emergency procedures specific to Crew Dragon's stay in orbit.

SpaceX recently launched its Crew Dragon astronaut capsule with the help of its Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine tweeted his congratulations on "this historic achievement", which brings the United States a big step closer to its goal of again flying astronauts into space on American rockets.

From blast-off at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday to contact Sunday, the flight took 27 hours.

As the Dragon capsule approached the ISS its nose cap, which is shaped in the form of a dragon maw, began to open to release the docking mechanism.

A SpaceX test Dragon capsule with a dummy aboard was able to dock with the International Space Station safely.

The launch systems are aimed at ending USA reliance on Russian rockets for rides to the $100 billion orbital research laboratory, which flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, at about $80 million per ticket.

A new experiment planned for launch to the space station in August 2022 will, for the first time, gather global observations of an important driver of space weather in our upper atmosphere. The name came from Sigourney Weaver's character in the movie "Alien".

Crew Dragon is scheduled to spend a total of five days docked at the ISS before returning to Earth to land in the Atlantic Ocean. At 10:51 UTC (05:51 EST), a full nine minutes ahead of schedule, the spacecraft successfully docked with the worldwide docking adaptor at the forward end of the Harmony module.

"It was super exciting to see it", astronaut Bob Behnken, told the BBC.

Reuters reported on February 21 that SpaceX and Boeing both must address significant design and safety concerns before they can fly humans.

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