SpaceX’s Demo-2 Mission to the ISS: What Does It Mean? | Dispatch Word

SpaceX’s Demo-2 Mission to the ISS: What Does It Mean?

by DispatchWord

SpaceX, a private US aerospace company, launched its first crew mission on Dragon capsule on Falcon 9 rocket to low earth orbit last Saturday, May 30, at 15:22 (EDT).

Labeled Demo-2 and carrying two US astronauts (Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken), the capsule’s final destination was the International Space Station (ISS), with which it automatically docked on Sunday morning, 19 hours after the successful SpaceXNASA launch.

This mission entails three things. First, it marks the beginning of a new era in US (human) space travel, where The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will purchase space travel services from private sector companies like SpaceX. NASA no longer operates or owns any of the currently operating spacecrafts involved in US space transport services.

Second, it is the first US crew mission to low earth orbit on US soil on US rockets since 2011 when US Space Shuttle was retired. During the last 9 years, the US had to rely on buying seats for its astronauts on Russia’s Soyuz rocket, which would cost up to $70 million.

Third, it brings closer to reality Elon Musk’s, SpaceX’s CEO, long-held dream of colonizing planet Mars. The success of SpaceX’s first human flight comes after 18 years since SpaceX first started, in 2002.

“It’s a bit difficult to deal with,” said Musk after the launch. “I think at this point I haven’t settled my emotions. This is, hopefully, the first step on a journey to civilization on Mars, of life becoming multi-planetary, a base on the Moon and extending beyond Earth.”

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