SpaceX Capsule Lands Successfully At ISS

SpaceX’s Dragon crew capsule as it approached the International Sapce Station

NASA has relied on Russian Federation to ferry its astronauts to the space station since the end of the USA space shuttle program in 2011 after a 30-year run.

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

The unmanned Dragon spacecraft, blasted from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, is scheduled to plop down in the Atlantic Ocean on March 8.

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. After that, NASA will make a decision on certifying the Crew Dragon for regular flights to the ISS. The SpaceX Demo-1 mission is the first uncrewed test flight of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The demonstration mission of SpaceX's new Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked Sunday on the International Space Station, passing a key test before it can begin taking U.S. astronauts into space.

SpaceX named "Ripley" after the Sigourney Weaver Character in the Alien movies. (AP Photo/John Raoux) Elon Musk, left, CEO of SpaceX, speaks as NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, center, and Doug Hurley, right, listen during a news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 Demo-1 launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, March 2, 2019.

SpaceX already has made 16 trips to the space station using cargo Dragons. Boeing is looking to launch its Starliner capsule without a crew as early as April and with a crew possibly in August.




"Just one more milestone that gets us ready for our flight coming up here", he said on a live stream of the docking.

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.

For the test, the Ripley dummy was strapped into the far left seat, wearing the company's snappy white spacesuit.

Both the mannequin and the capsule were loaded with a series of sensors which measure noise, vibration and the stress among several other relevant data which play an essential role during the launch and flight towards the International Space Station.

"I nearly thought we would fail".

At Saturday's post-launch news conference, Musk said he'd be happy to fly on the revamped Dragon.

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