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For SpaceX, the Crew-2 mission is the second of the six missions the company has previously highlighted.
American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company SpaceX has successfully launched its Crew-2 mission in which it sent four astronauts to space for NASA early on Friday morning. Per a TechCrunch report, the mission involved NASA’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, aboard a Falcon 9 Rocket. This mission marks the second time the Elon Musk-led company will be sending NASA astronauts to space, as it looks to deepen its efforts to make space exploration a commercial opportunity.
The four astronauts include NASA’s Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, as well as JAXA’s Akihiko Hoshide and the ESA’s Thomas Pesquet. Per the report, SpaceX reused some of the components from its previous spacecraft for this Crew-2 mission. One of the parts, the Dragon Capsule was initially used during the company’s final demonstration mission and its first human spaceflight certification program for NASA. The second component, the first stage booster, was used during the Crew-1 launch.
These spaceflights alongside the previous successful testflights take SpaceX closer to achieving its goals of making space exploration and travel a reality for everyone. The company has been able to devise a means to cut the cost of these flights through the reuse of its component, a move that has also been justified by CEO Elon Musk.
Per the TechCrunch report, Elon said in a conversation with XPRIZE’s Peter Diamandis on Thursday evening that no one would want to be on the “first flight of an airplane when it comes out of the factory.” This mission will also feature a recovery attempt for the booster used, which can be utilized in flying other astronauts in the future after it has been refurbished.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon is en route to the International Space Station where it will be docking tomorrow morning, in less than 24 hours.
Will the Success of SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Fastrack Humans Visit to Space?
For SpaceX, the Crew-2 mission is the second of the six missions the company has highlighted in its spacecraft development as sponsored by NASA and also the subsequent commercialization of space travels. Following this mission, however, the next big milestone for the firm will be the flying of private citizens, an event that is billed to happen in fall 2021.
While the end goal for SpaceX is to take all humans to space, its current business shares a very close collaboration with NASA. The government agency has tapped the company to develop the human landing system for its Artemis program, set to return humans to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program.
With the success of the Crew-2 mission, SpaceX has notably sent 10 people to space in the past year, with commitments to eventually take all humans on similar trips in the near future.
“Thrilled to be part of advancing human spaceflight and looking forward to going beyond Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars, and helping make humanity a spacefaring civilization,” Musk said during a post-launch press conference.