After nearly two decades of effort, Elon Musk’s aerospace company,
SpaceX, successfully launched its first two people into orbit,
ushering in a new age of human spaceflight in the United States.
The flight marked the first time astronauts have launched into
orbit from American soil in nearly a decade, and SpaceX is now the
first company to send passengers to orbit on a privately made
The two astronauts — veteran NASA fliers Bob Behnken and Doug
Hurley — rode into space inside SpaceX’s new automated spacecraft
called the Crew Dragon, a capsule designed to take people to and
from the International Space Station. Strapped inside the sleek,
gumdrop-shaped capsule, the duo lifted off on top of SpaceX’s
Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at
3:22PM ET on Saturday. The rocket dropped the Crew Dragon off in
orbit about 12 minutes later. Now, the pair will spend roughly the
next day in orbit before attempting to dock with the International
Space Station on Sunday morning.
Successful space launches are always fun, but it feels particularly good to see a triumph for science right now.