Commercial space era has started
Crew Dragon is the first commercially built and operated American spacecraft to launch from American soil. SpaceX and NASA completed the demo-1 mission that is paving the way for launching astronauts on board of the Dragon capsule.
Falcon 9 rocket managed to bring the spacecraft into space, and the first stage landed on the drone ship. Space X and NASA conducted a lot of tests before the automatic docking sequence initiated. Crew Dragon autonomously docked to the station’s Harmony module forward port using the station’s new international docking adapter for the first time
On board was an anthropomorphic test device named Ripley, outfitted with sensors to provide data about potential effects on humans traveling in Crew Dragon for critical phases like ascent, entry, and landing.
Capsule undocked after five days on March 8 and after about 7 hours splashed down 230 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral Florida.
“Today’s successful re-entry and recovery of the Crew Dragon capsule after its first mission to the International Space Station marked another important milestone in the future of human spaceflight,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
“I want to once again congratulate the NASA and SpaceX teams on an incredible week. Our Commercial Crew Program is one step closer to launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. I am proud of the great work that has been done to get us to this point.”