U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence watch the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, from Cape Canaveral today. Elon Musk, with an assist from NASA, opened up space for private business Saturday when two veteran astronauts shot off in orbit on the first-ever manned commercial space flight.
The historic Demo-2 mission was scrubbed Wednesday because of bad weather but went off without a hitch Saturday afternoon.
Both Musk, the co-founder of electric auto maker Tesla, and President Donald Trump gathered at Cape Canaveral to watch a rocket called Falcon 9 blast off veteran NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.
It was the first manned spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011 and the first-ever crewed flight for SpaceX. It came one day after SpaceX’s Starship N4 prototype, a new spacecraft Musk has been developing, blew up on its test stand in Boca Chica, Texas .
Musk launched SpaceX in 2002 to provide more cheaper space travel and to realize his long-held dream of someday sending humans to Mars and living there.
“This is the most hands-off NASA has ever been and it’s been difficult for them to step back,” Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told the Post. “But a lot is riding on the privatization of the space program.”
Musk’s success means that NASA won’t have to concern itself with mundane lower space orbit travel and can focus on “gearing up for another trip to the moon and beyond,” McDowell said.
Musk’s brand was everywhere at Cape Canaveral Saturday, not just on his Crew Dragon capsule.Hurley, 53, and Behnken, 49 were driven to the famous Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in a Tesla, showing off Bond-esque black and white spacesuits that were years in the making.Jose […]