How NASA and SpaceX Made History by Launching American Astronauts into Space

The first rockets were used as propulsion systems for arrows and may have appeared as early as the 10th century in Song dynasty China. Usage of rockets as weapons before modern rocketry is attested in China, Korea, India, and Europe. One of the first recorded rocket launchers is the “wasp nest” fire arrow launcher produced by the Ming dynasty in 1380. The principles of rocketry were first tested more than 2,000 years ago, but it’s only been in the past 70 years or so that these machines have been used for applications in space exploration. Today, rockets routinely take spacecraft to other planets in our solar system. Closer to Earth, rockets carrying supplies up to the International Space Station can return to Earth, land on their own, and be used again. Launching American astronauts into space for the first time in history from American soil it’s a proud thing in the history of the united states. The successful launch of the American astronauts into the international space station is due to the hard work of NASA and SpaceX.

Launching rockets to the international space station and make return and land safely on earth, it’s an amazing thing we’ve never seen in the whole history. The private space technology company SpaceX has successfully landed a rocket back on land after a mission into space orbit. The Falcon-9 rocket came back to earth in an upright position a short distance from where it took off at Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was the first time an unmanned rocket has returned to land vertically at Cape Canaveral and is seen as a huge success for SpaceX. The company is trying to bring down launch costs down and to open up space to more people. The genius owner of SpaceX Elon Musk put a message on social media after touchdown saying “Welcome back, baby!” “It’s a revolutionary moment,” He later told journalists “No one has ever brought a booster, an orbital-class booster, back intact.” But although it was a test flight to see if they could bring the rocket back safely — the mission also had a practical purpose. The rocket put 11 satellites into space. But not all their launches have been so successful. an unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded after blast off as it was heading to the International Space Station. No one was on board and no one was hurt. The craft, an American Falcon-9 SpaceX rocket, was carrying supplies of food and equipment to the astronauts on the space station.

since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The flight, known as Crew Dragon Demo-2, bridges the gap left by the space shuttle program’s final flight in July 2011. It’s the first time a private company has sent humans into orbit — and the first time in nearly a decade that the United States has launched astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil. For the first time in history, NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley lifted off on May 30, 2020, at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX controlled the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy’s Launch Control Center Firing Room 4, the former space shuttle control room, which SpaceX has leased as its primary launch control center. As Crew Dragon ascended into space, SpaceX commanded the spacecraft from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California. NASA teams are monitoring space station operations throughout the flight from Mission Control Center at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

SpaceX, in partnership with NASA, successfully launched two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to the International Space Station inside their Crew Dragon capsule on May 30, 2020. Bob and Doug will likely spend the next few months on the international space station, the exact duration of the mission is not yet known, participating in scientific work and validating the functionality of the SpaceX built craft. The joint NASA-SpaceX mission was a historic achievement, both because it brought human launch capability back to the United States for the first time since the shuttle program ended and because it marked the first time a non-government entity has carried astronauts off Earth. It was enough to attract a record number of viewers, with more than 10 million people watching the launch, live, making it the most-watched stream in NASA history. But this is just the beginning of a commercial partnership in space travel, manufacturing. The Demo-2 mission was more than the final test flight SpaceX needed to validate their system, it’s also proof of concept that NASA, along with international partners, can work in concert with commercial companies to advance human spaceflight. In fact, not only can companies like SpaceX successfully co-operate with NASA, it might work better or at least faster than NASA working alone. It’s a good thing because the future of NASA’s crewed missions relies heavily on commercial partnerships. Despite all the incredible things NASA is doing, the agency simply doesn’t have the capability at least, right now to get a crew off the ground without help. To that end, getting American astronauts to the international space station, back to the Moon, and beyond, is dependent upon partnering with commercial companies like SpaceX, combining innovations with the foundations NASA has built and continues to build.

Copyright: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA and SpaceX also coordinated with the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense to conduct crew rescue training. The DoD Human Space Flight Support Office Rescue Division is prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice to quickly and safely rescue astronauts in the unlikely event of an emergency during ascent or splashdown. NASA’s partnership with the American private industry is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities, said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA. “We are truly at the beginning of a new era of human spaceflight.” NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission will be the first flight to use the certified SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and will fly NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, on a six-month mission to and from the space station. Crew Dragon is targeting launch on a Falcon 9 on Saturday, Nov. 14, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit. With NASA certification of the SpaceX crew transportation system complete, the agency can proceed with regularly flying astronauts to the space station, ending sole reliance on Russia for access. For more than 20 years, humans have continuously lived and worked aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies that enable us to prepare for human exploration to the Moon and Mars.

Computer Science Student. Books Reader, Highly interested in Data Engineering.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store