SpaceX launched four astronauts toward orbit Friday using a recycled rocket and capsule. Most importantly, It was the first time SpaceX reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA, after years of proving the capability on station supply runs.
The astronauts from the U.S., Japan, and France should reach the International Space Station early Saturday morning, following a 23-hour ride in the same Dragon capsule used by SpaceX’s debut crew last May. They’ll spend six months at the orbiting lab.
Details of SpaceX Launch:
At 5:49 a.m. Eastern time, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A smooth countdown proceeded through the early morning, and even ran ahead of schedule at times.
Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Dragon! pic.twitter.com/g6Oi8qwU2Y
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 23, 2021
Firstly, The mission, Crew-2, is carrying two American, one Japanese, and one French astronaut to the International Space Station. Secondly, It is the third time SpaceX will send humans to the ISS as part of its multibillion-dollar contract with NASA under the Commercial Crew Program.
It seems the weather is cooperating, so looks like we will try to launch tomorrow!!! Our friends on the @Space_Station are expecting us to show up and we don’t want to be late. They even installed my bedroom recently and literally made my bed 🛏. Such nice hosts! 🙏 #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/52X2bhPoTX
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) April 22, 2021
On the other hand, “6 months of space food after this!” Shane Kimbrough of NASA said on Twitter.
6 months of space food after this! Thank you to the @NASA_Johnson and @NASAKennedy food lab and food services staff that have been keeping us healthy and well-fed during quarantine. The next time I post about food it will be floating! pic.twitter.com/GOvU2u8Xwy
— Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) April 22, 2021
In conclusion, This is the second commercial crew mission for SpaceX, which officially qualified its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket for a human flight last year. NASA then launched four astronauts using SpaceX’s human-certified launch system later that year in November, becoming the first private company to deliver people to the ISS.