SpaceX just launched the first private craft in world history to dock at the international space station. And it’s at the forefront of NASA space exploration that spans the last 60 years.
Why is Elon Musk and the SpaceX launch such a big deal?
Read on. We’ve laid out the details and the must-knows surrounding the historic voyage.
What is SpaceX?
This is a private company that’s run by billionaire Elon Musk. The company designs, makes, and shoots off rockets into space.
The group has been up and running for more than 15 years, and it says its goal is to someday make it possible for humans to live on other planets.
But the latest Dragon voyage isn’t the first SpaceX rocket launch to make history. It became the first private company to bring a craft back from low Earth orbit in 2010. And in 2012 it used the Dragon cargo craft to drop off and pick up items at the International Space Station.
The Crew Dragon SpaceX Launch
The company’s latest success is the closest step to their goal of interplanetary habitation yet. In a mission called Demo-1, the Crew Dragon sent a dummy astronaut to the International Space Station. This dummy was strapped to instruments to check out how the flight could affect live crew members.
And the spacecraft was able to dock at the International Space Station. Even though the Dragon dropped off cargo at the station before, this was a first for the group.
The Cargo Dragon had to be grabbed by a robotic arm in order to attach to the station. But the latest Crew Dragon parked itself in the International Docking Adaptor.
It later was able to splash back on Earth successfully when the capsule landed off the coast of Florida.
This all shows Spacex’s new spaceship should be capable of transporting live crew members to space.
About the Dragon Craft
The Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft. And it was made to carry cargo and people. It’s built to hold up to seven people at a time.
It stretches to close to 30 feet high, and it’s 13 feet in diameter.
The vessel is made up of two main sections: a trunk and a capsule. The trunk can hold cargo and it works as a support structure as the craft takes off. And the specialized capsule is pressurized so that it can carry people and cargo that’s sensitive to the environment.
Looking to the Future
Next, after more testing, SpaceX plans to launch Demo-2. This mission would send two live NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
It would be the first orbital spaceflight with a crew to leave from the United States in eight years. And the company hopes to launch the mission around July of this year.
More on the Latest Technology and Beyond
This shows how SpaceX is making history with its latest voyage. But we’ve got much more on how trends and tech are affecting humans.
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