SpaceX becomes first commercial company to launch NASA astronauts

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 01, 2020, 09.41 PM(IST)

SpaceX's Dragon arrives Photograph:( AFP )

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Also, it's the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts in nearly a decade. Naturally, SpaceX founder Elon Musk is beaming with happiness.

Space X has made history with its arrival at the international space station. There are many firsts, it's the first commercially developed spacecraft to put Americans into the Earth's orbit, also, it's the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts in nearly a decade. Naturally, SpaceX founder Elon Musk is beaming with happiness.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk must have been a nervous man. He was at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

US President Donald Trump was there too. The privately-built SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stood upright. Ready for launch after two delays due to bad weather.

Come the time of reckoning, 3:22 eastern daylight time on May 30. The first commercially designed and built spacecraft took off in triumph and Elon Musk was overjoyed. 

After a 19-hour journey, and a tense automatic docking sequence. The capsule attached itself to the international space station as the portal opened.

The two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were welcomed by the station's crew. This crewed mission has created history.

It's the first time a commercially developed spacecraft has put Americans in space. For all these years space was a hegemony of NASA in the US.

Now, Earth's orbit has welcomed a private player in SpaceX. Also, it's the first spaceflight with NASA astronauts that took-off from US soil in nine years.

Since 2011, NASA astronauts have had to hitch rides into orbit on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. 

Naturally, the US President was all praise for the successful all-American mission, he said: "We have created the envy of the world, and will soon be landing on mars and will soon have the greatest weapons ever imagined in history -- I've already seen designs, and even I can't believe it. The United States has regained our place of prestige as the world leader. As has often been stated, you can't be number one on earth if you are number two in space."

The last time NASA launched astronauts into space aboard a brand new vehicle was 40 years ago. That was at the start of the space shuttle program.

For Musk -- the launch represents another milestone. It is the first time a reusable rocket has been deployed for a space mission. This makes spaceflight less costly and more frequent.

This could pave the way for civilians -- to hop on a ride to space.  For now, the two NASA astronauts have begun their month long stay in the orbital laboratory.

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