Elon Musk has just launched 'Crew Dragon' on the Falcon 9 rocket headed for the International Space Station. The rocket will be performing a six-day demonstration mission that could lead into astronauts being sent to the International Space Station if the mission proves successful.
'Crew Dragon' was launched on March 2nd and is an unmanned mission that will be transporting 400 pounds of "supplies and equipment to the Space Station". The main goal of this launch is to demonstrate that SpaceX has developed a way to safely transport humans to the International Space Station, which would eventuate in Crew Dragon capsule carrying up to four NASA astronaut passengers. If this test which has been titled 'demo-1' is successful we could see two NASA astronauts make the trip sometime this summer.
SpaceX engineers and NASA have been working together under a $2.6 billion commerical-crew contract that could potentially be open to general populous space tourists as well. According to a recent statement from Musk at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, "People have gone to space station on Soyuz", which is in reference to the very small amount of Russian civilians who have paid between $20-$40 million to travel to Russia's 'Soyuz' spacecraft. Musk continues and says "And I think it'd be pretty cool if people went to space station on an American vehicle as well. I think that's something that we'll do, and NASA's very supportive of that."
Musk even teased his very well known colonization of Mars plans, he states "maybe there's something beyond space station, we'll see."
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