"Today represents a new era in space flight" said Jim Bridenstine, head of the U.S. space agency who sees the launch as a step toward the privatization of low Earth orbit.
In a risky experiment, NASA years ago made a decision to outsource transportation to what's known as low Earth orbit to the private sector.
In 2014, the United States space agency awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing for them to take over this task. "We've got to dock to the space station and come back".
Affixed to the top of a Falcon 9 booster, the rounded cone capsule of the Crew Dragon blasted off in a blaze of fire and smoke from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:49 a.m. ET Saturday. "But it worked - so far". Teams still have work to do after this flight to prepare the spacecraft to fly astronauts. The commercial-crew deal with SpaceX, and a similar one NASA signed with Boeing in 2014, was created to end that reliance on a foreign power.
The module was carried safely into space by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Now a professor of human spaceflight at the University of Southern California, Reisman said the atmosphere was electric.
Boeing aims to conduct the first test flight of its Starliner capsule in April, with astronauts on board possibly in August. Boeing's first flight with people is scheduled for August.
Huawei one-ups Samsung with world's fastest foldable 5G smartphone
Huawei is touting its uncompromised experience with this device, since there's no notch and cutout on the display. However, if you do lose out on charging the device, well, the 55W SuperCharge adapter is here to the rescue.
Sanders returns to New York roots, says he can defeat Trump
Sanders' rally was his first campaign event since announcing a week ago that he would run against Trump for the White House. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NY), and most notably Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who share similar sensibilities.
German town defends seizing family's pet, selling it on eBay
The new owner, a policewoman, is now demanding reimbursement from the city for the procedures as well as the $850 purchase price of the pug.
"We want to make sure we keep our partnership with Russian Federation, which has been very strong for a long period of time", explained Bridenstine before the flight. Many officials have warned that since the program is still in the test phase the schedules are likely to slip, perhaps even significantly.
Bridenstine is optimistic about both SpaceX and Boeing capsules, saying astronauts should begin using them by this year's end.
Saturday's flight "is the next critical step in putting people on Dragon", he said. Less than 30 seconds later, the first stage landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship.
"Man, we were all working so hard to get to the start of flying this new vehicle-it was super exhilarating", he said.
"It's been a long eight years", the Kennedy Space Center's director Bob Cabana, a former astronaut himself, said as SpaceX employees milled around the rocket.
That's the name of the space-suited dummy aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon that launched Saturday, a hat tip to Ellen Ripley, the heroine of the sci-fi movie series.