Elon Musk and SpaceX have done it again! SpaceX crew dragon capsule, carrying 4 astronauts, docked with the international space station on 17th November. The SpaceX rocket lifted off with the capsule named “Resilience”, from NASA’s historic Pad 39 located at Cape Canaveral at 7:27 p.m. EST (0027 GMT on Nov. 16).
The NASA crew of 4 comprised of a Japanese astronaut, Soichi Noguchi and three American astronauts- Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker. This was the first time a non-american citizen flew to the ISS on board a private space capsule.
United states president elect Joe Biden took to twitter to congratulate NASA and SpaceX on the success of the launch. He said, “Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on today’s launch. It’s a testament to the power of science and what we can accomplish by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity, and determination. I join all Americans and the people of Japan in wishing the astronauts Godspeed on their journey.”
This was the second time SpaceX launched astronauts to the ISS. The first launch, in May 2020, launched two American astronauts into low Earth Orbit and aboard the ISS. It was the first time in 9 years that a rocket launched American astronauts into space from American soil. Since the retirement of the space shuttle, NASA had been dependent on Russia to provide launch vehicles. But with private companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin achieving milestones, NASA are becoming independent. The success of this week’s mission marks the beginning a new era in American spaceflight!