"Today we once again proudly launched American astronauts on American rockets.from right here on American soil".
The first crewed orbital launch from the United States in almost nine years took place May 30, placing a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft with two NASA astronauts on board into orbit, bound for the International Space Station. They're able to go without the suits in the pressurized cabin during its transit to the ISS, only needing to put them back on for space station docking, and the interior of Crew Dragon actually provides them a fair amount of room to move around in.
The SpaceX Demo-2 launch originally was scheduled for Wednesday, but it was called off less than 20 minutes before liftoff due to inclement weather.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be aboard the spacecraft, but the ship itself was created by Space X, Elon Musk's commercial aerospace company.
The plan worked. In 2012, an unoccupied, robotic SpaceX capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station-a first for a commercially-owned and operated spaceship.
The Demo-2 mission marks the first time a private company has launched humans into space.
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Saturday's launch is the final test for the Crew Dragon, which is to dock with the ISS and return to Earth.
Behnken and Hurley inside the Crew Dragon this past Wednesday, prior to the postponement.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, said he was "so proud" after the successful launch. That test was a success, and final testing of the spacecraft, including its revamped parachute system, cleared the way to proceed with the Demo-2 crewed mission. "With everything that's going on in this country right now, it's important that we do things extraordinary in life", Wight said.
NASA outsourced the job of designing and building its next generation of spaceships to SpaceX and Boeing, awarding them $7 billion in contracts in a public-private partnership aimed at driving down costs and spurring innovation. "When you see a sight like that it's incredible", Trump said after liftoff. The two joined the commercial crew "cadre" of astronauts in 2015 to train on both the Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner vehicles, providing inputs from an astronaut's perspective for both companies.
Veteran NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are co-commanders on the mission. The Dragon 2 class of vehicles includes Crew Dragon, which is now certified to stay in orbit for up to 110 days, and a cargo vehicle, Cargo Dragon. SpaceX's Dragon aced all of its objectives, while Boeing's Starliner capsule ended up in the wrong orbit and nearly was destroyed because of multiple software errors.
"We're at the dawn of a new age, and we're really leading the beginning of a space revolution", NASA Deputy Administrator James Morhard said at a news conference Friday. Both companies launched their crew capsules previous year with test dummies. "But I think all of us thought that maybe we could do a little bit better than that".