SpaceX successfully launches unmanned crew capsule into orbit

The Dragon crew capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket at the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Moments later, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko passed through the open pressurized mating adapter on the forward end of the International Space Station and into a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

The spacecraft attached to ISS via "soft capture" at 5:51 a.m.

Nasa and SpaceX celebrated the successful launch on Saturday of a new astronaut capsule on a week-long round trip to the International Space Station - a key step towards resuming manned space flights from United States soil after an eight-year break.

Provided the mission is successful and following further testing, a Demo-2 crewed test flight could be heading to the ISS in July. Falcon 9 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, the launch site for the Apollo 11 mission that put humans on the moon."I would never have believed that this would ever happen", Musk said, referring to using the same launch site.

After about five days docked, the crew is expected to place some return equipment inside before closing the hatch.

The successful demonstration brings the US one step closer to once again sending people into orbit without relying on Russian space vehicles, which have ferried American astronauts to the International Space Station since NASA retired its shuttles in 2011.

While optimistic, NASA is hedging its bets and plans to buy two more Soyuz seats, one for use this fall and the other next spring, to ensure USA astronauts will be aboard the space station through next year even if the commercial crew program runs into major problems and delays. "We've got to dock to the space station and come back".

"Human spaceflight is basically the core mission of SpaceX", explained Hans Koenigsmann, the company's vice president of build and flight reliability.

This test flight didn't include crew - except for a high tech mannequin named "Ripley" - but it was meant to go through all the procedures of a crewed mission.

Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX has made the trip to the ISS a dozen times since 2012, but only to bring cargo to the station.

NASA astronaut Eric Boe (L) and Norm Knight, deputy director of flight operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center, watch the launch.

NASA turned to private companies, SpaceX and Boeing, and has provided them $8 billion to build and operate crew capsules to ferry astronauts to and from the space station.

"We've got NASA "rocking" again". Musk is also the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla.

No one was aboard the Dragon capsule launched Saturday on its first test flight, only an instrumented dummy.

"We're going to learn a ton from this mission, " said NASA's commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders.

"Welcome to the new era in space flight", McClain said from inside the capsule, framed by Ripley and Little Earth.

Related news:

Hot News

The Voice Contestant Janice Freeman Dies Unexpectedly at the Age of 33
Mar 04, 2019 - 04:13
It's truly sad to lose Freeman's impressive vocal talents so soon; she was just 33 years old at the time of her passing yesterday. The singer battled lupus and symptoms of her condition worsened over the past few months, the outlet reported .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Feds green-light formal extradition process for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou
Mar 03, 2019 - 07:14
The embassy also said that Canada should refuse the extradition request and immediately release Meng. Since then, she's also been accused of copying T-Mobile's phone testing technology for Huawei.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kate Middleton Is Throwing Meghan Markle a Second Baby Shower
Mar 03, 2019 - 00:26
Meghan and her friend, Markus Anderson, hung out at The Polo Bar together in NYC. The actress later took to Instagram to further explain her statement.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Wing Commander Abhinandan says Pakistani Army treating him with respect
Mar 03, 2019 - 00:15
On Tuesday, India launched airstrikes in Pakistan that it later claimed killed hundreds of suspected fighters. The ministry has told them that Pakistan has targeted Indian military bases violating Indian air space.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pakistan says its jets crossed LoC to undertake strikes in India
Mar 03, 2019 - 00:08
Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi said he has no information on Pakistan's statement . Pakistan has said it was not involved in the attack and was ready to help New Delhi in the investigations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hyderabad airport bans entry of visitors amidst tensions between India and Pakistan
Mar 03, 2019 - 00:05
On Thursday Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said the pilot's release was a " peace gesture " to India . India has not named the pilot officially but local media has reported the pilot is Abhinandan Varthaman .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Venezuelan minister floats idea of Trump-Maduro talks
Mar 02, 2019 - 07:22
It also stresses the need to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the country. Belandria has been recognized as Venezuela's top diplomat by Bolsonaro's government.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top London mayor urges Brexit delay to break divorce deal deadlock
Mar 02, 2019 - 07:01
Governments in European Union countries, as well as in Britain, have warned of potential disruption to trade and travel. MPs also voted by 324 votes to 288 against a Scottish National Party motion to avoid "no deal".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Everything Jordyn Woods Told Red Table Talk
Mar 02, 2019 - 05:52
She admitted that her biggest mistake was going to the party in the first place. "In my head this is innocent". Woods concluded: "I may have done something wrong but whatever I did I don't think I deserve this".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Democrats planning new lines of investigation into Russian Federation claims
Mar 02, 2019 - 05:16
At one point, Krishnamoorthi asked Cohen to describe the last communication he had with Trump or "someone acting on his behalf". Cohen spoke to the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday and is scheduled for another closed-door session on March 6.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 is finally here - Tech
Mar 02, 2019 - 05:11
You do still get a tinted glass roof with the standard model , however, along with four USB ports in the center console. But Musk has his company following much of the same playbook, and that's asking for similar results.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Arsenal legend Wright absolutely loved Mesut Ozil's 'brilliant' finish against Bournemouth
Mar 02, 2019 - 04:05
In the first half we played very well but we wanted to carry on in the second, but it's not easy 90 minutes with this intensity.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pakistan will release Indian pilot Friday as 'peace gesture'
Mar 01, 2019 - 05:43
In the past, prisoners have been exchanged over the Wagah border post, which separates the Indian and Pakistani states of Punjab. Behind him were arrayed the photos of the 40 officers killed in the February 14 attack.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Men: Dark Phoenix Trailer - Jean Grey Is Going to Kill ‘Em All
Mar 01, 2019 - 05:13
This all builds to a confrontation in which Mystique ( Jennifer Lawrence ) attempts to be the voice of reason and calm Jean down. James McAvoy's Charles Xavier aka Professor X puts it plainly: "She will kill us all".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Firefighters rescue fat rat found stuck in sewer grate
Mar 01, 2019 - 04:59
Photos of the rat showed its head and rotund torso poking out of the hole, with its bottom half obscured by the sewer cover. The young girls who discovered the rat reportedly drew a photo for the rescuers, showing the rat surrounded by hearts.