SpaceX Dragon Launch

Nolen Cooper, Reporter

SpaceX made history again when they launched the first commercial flight to the International Space Station (ISS), while also having a successful return and landing.

“I can’t wait for this to become a standard vacation, like when people go to Florida or Mexico,” junior Melissa Rogge said.

Before this launch the average cost to go to the ISS was $70 million. Now with SpaceX available it may be an alternate, more affordable mode of transportation for astronauts.

The launch took place May 2 at 2:49 am est. The flight took 27 hours and the capsule carried over 400 pounds of supplies and a mannequin named Ripley. Ripley was equipped with sensors to see how a human could fair the flight. [NASA has been unable to fly astronauts since 2011 when their space shuttle retired.]

“[I believe] SpaceX is going to be the future of all space travel. They have Elon Musk who makes the company ten times more known, and he also adds his brains to the operation,” senior Henry Gamber said.

After the five day stay, the Crew Dragon autonomously undocked from the ISS, and made its way back to earth. The spacecraft deployed four parachutes to slow the descent and ultimately landed in the Atlantic Ocean to be recovered by a waiting recovery vessel.

“Everything happened just perfectly, right on time the way we expected it to,” SpaceX director of crew mission management, Benjamin Reed said in a livestream from California.

The same spacecraft will be used in another launch as early as April 2019, and will test the inflight abort system, designed to save the crew if the rocket were to experience a glitch. If this next mission works, then the Crew Dragon will attempt to transport two human passengers in July.

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