• SpaceX and NASA’s Historic Launch – In A Nutshell

SpaceX became the first private company to send people to space

Astronauts have been to space before. What’s all the fuss about? – I’ve been reading stuff like this since the Crew Dragon launch, and it only made sense to explain it all in brief. The ‘fuss’ was because this was the first time that a private company has launched people into orbit. It opens up a whole new avenue in the form of commercial space trips, which was a far-fetched thought until now. Crazy, right?

It’s The Dawn Of A New Beginning

SpaceX and NASA's Historic Launch – In A Nutshell
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The Falcon 9 rocket with a Crew Dragon capsule was built by SpaceX, an Elon Musk-owned private company.

Two NASA astronauts - Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley – blasted off into the orbit from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida U.S., to the International Space Station. The 19-hour journey to the ISS went on smoothly, and Behnken and Hurley joined the three other astronauts who were already at the space station.

This mission was called Demo-2 since it was just a ‘test flight’. For the last nine years, NASA has been using Russian spaceships and each trip runs into tens of millions of dollars. This all-American flight is expected to cost much less and will make the project completely based on U.S. resources. The capsule as well as the booster used for the launch are reusable. Post the lift-off, the booster managed to safely land aboard the drone ship called ‘Of Course I Still Love You’.

Why Doesn’t NASA Have Its Own Shuttles?

SpaceX and NASA's Historic Launch – In A Nutshell
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This was the first American flight to carry astronauts in almost a decade. NASA used to have five spaceships in its fleet under its Space Shuttle program. They made 135 journeys into space and the International Space Station between 1981 and 2011. Two of them were destroyed in accidents in 1986 and 2003, so the U.S. government decided to kill the Space Shuttle program. NASA retired the other three spaceships since it didn’t make sense to invest financial and scientific resources when private companies were building them for that NASA could hire. This is how the agency’s collaboration with SpaceX transpired.

Final Thoughts

SpaceX and NASA's Historic Launch – In A Nutshell
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This event is seen as the beginning of a new era in space exploration.

Soon, space travels may open up commercially and even regular individuals can start traveling.

Private companies have been trying to crack into this ‘taxi-service for space’ field, but containing costs and finding people who can cough up the amount to pay for the ride is the biggest task. With this trip, you can expect more participation from the private companies as well as the potential passengers.

Elon Musk even plans to send a SpaceX rocket to Mars with cargo by 2022, and with cargo and crew by 2024.

The company aims to send a million people ‘out of this world’ by 2050. Say, if you had the opportunity to take a trip to Mars, would you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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