A Nominal Government & Private Partnership

NASA and SpaceX: We Have Lift Off

SpaceX Crew Dragon / Space Suit

Space lovers have all been buzzing this week about a piece of history being made as NASA and SpaceX have joined forces for a historical launch. The date of the launch was originally set for May 27th but was postponed due to inclement weather. The new date was moved to May 30th. Takeoff occurred at 2:22 PM EST, this Saturday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It certainly makes you wonder just how stressful a change like that must have been for the astronauts involved! No matter when the launch was to take place, there is no denying that these groups just made history!

“This is the first time that the United States has sent astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil since 2011."

SpaceX Space Suit in Crew Dragon

NASA Astronauts Going Into Space

After training for two years, veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley donned their SpaceX custom pressured spacesuits as they executed their mission on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to the space station. Though space exploration has come a long way from the days of Apollo 11 in what seems like a short period of time, the fact is that every single launch is one for the history books. This is the first time that the United States has sent astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil since 2011. Considering the fact that the majority of the population will spend their entire lives on the pale blue dot, it is a pretty big deal when someone gets to go out into space, even if it is just to Lower Earth Orbit to the friendly neighborhood space station. Believe it or not, we don’t send a lot of astronauts into space. Out of the 77 years of space travel only approximately 556 humans have journeyed to space. Most launches are resupply missions for the ISS, deployment of satellites, rovers, and test flights. They are meticulously planned, prepared for, reexamined, and then often organized again, sometimes years in advance. The fact that this is an especially distinctive launch only makes it that much more fascinating.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 & Crew Capsule

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

“This is a huge milestone and historic moment for SpaceX, with this being the first time they have launched a SpaceX rocket with human passengers aboard their Crew Dragon capsule.”

By now, the majority of people know just how big of a deal SpaceX is, with their reusability, and the wild story behind its foundation. Its creator, Elon Musk, is no stranger to the limelight, and he has had plenty to say about this launch. There are plenty of interviews he gave days and some mere hours before the attempted launch on Wednesday with YouTube Space enthusiasts and scientists online. As the chief engineer, I’m sure he is beyond proud to be partnering with NASA on this project. This is a huge milestone and historic moment for SpaceX, with this being the first time they have launched a SpaceX rocket with human passengers aboard their Crew Dragon capsule. It is also the first time a private company has launched a rocket from the United States or any other country to carry human beings into space. NASA awarded SpaceX $3.14 billion to create, develop and fly the Crew Dragon with the sole purpose of providing a ride to the ISS for NASA’s astronauts and back to Earth. The success of this launch will undoubtedly create more opportunities for other privately-owned space companies to partner with NASA, other government agencies, and potentially expand their Commercial Crew Program.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The fact that our known space experts are working with a private company to send astronauts to the International Space Station is a huge deal. It is an enormous step for SpaceX, which wants to be considered a pioneer in space travel. It is also a big deal for NASA. They normally only work in-house yet with the rapid innovation and iteration of SpaceX, NASA has truly found a system that works for all involved. This is a huge opportunity for SpaceX as they endeavor to continue to create history and push the barriers of what we think is possible in space exploration in partnership with NASA. As we all wait in anticipation of the Crew Dragon docking with the ISS, and the next launch of four astronauts, one thing is for sure: the world is watching. Only time will tell what kind of impact shall be felt from the success of this collaboration.

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Katevious Love

Katevious Love

Researcher. Storyteller. Historian. Work featured on Bloomberg, The Startup, and Netflix. IG: LoveInMatte