SpaceX Cleared to Take Astronauts to ISS

Launching US Astronauts from Florida

Source:  NASA

1st Human Spaceflight from US Since 2011
After nearly a decade of absence, human
spaceflights will launch from US
soil on May 27, 2020. SpaceX, 
founded by entrepreneur  Elon Musk,
will launch its CrewDragon
rocket with two US astronauts
onboard and crewing the space
vehicle.  Their destination is the
International Space Station.  This
mission is a series of historic
firsts in space.

Space Firsts
This is the first crewed mission for
SpaceX since CEO Elon Musk
founded the company in 2002. And, it's the
first time a rocket will carry 
astronauts into orbit from US soil 
since 2011.  That's when NASA
retired its space shuttle program.
And there's yet another first.
The public cannot attend the launch.

History Being Made
Because of COVID-19, the
public cannot attend the 
launch at Cape Canaveral,
Florida. The launch
is historic for several more
reasons.  Since 2011,
Russia has been the only
nation shuttling astronauts to
the International Space Station (ISS).
The cost to NASA has been as high 
as $86 million per seat. Now, 
commercial companies like SpaceX
are competing for the business.
This is a major new avenue of
business growth in the
commercialization of space.

NASA is the Customer
Once aboard the ISS, the
two US astronauts could be
working in space for 110 days.
Then, they will return on the
CrewDragon capsule and splash
down in the Atlantic off Florida.
Interestingly, NASA is the
customer in this latest space
journey.  SpaceX owns and
operates Crew Dragon. This
is a brand new leg of the journey
with companies
commercializing journeys 
into space.

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