A Brief History
On May 30, 2020, the Crew Dragon Demo-2 spacecraft was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida courtesy of a Falcon 9 booster rocket from the private firm of SpaceX. The capsule, named Crew Dragon Endeavor, contained two astronauts, the first manned space flight to launch from the United States since the last Space Shuttle flight in 2011.
This first ever commercial manned orbital space flight on behalf of the American government space program was on a mission to link up with the International Space Station and have the two American astronauts work with the ISS crew for just over two months in space, including space walks.
The crew returned to the Gulf of Mexico on August 2, 2020, where they were safely recovered, marking an end to the US space hiatus and a new era of space exploration that featured private commercial systems for NASA space flights.
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For more information, please see…
Bergan, Brad. Space Race 2.0: SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, NASA, and the Privatization of the Final Frontier. Motorbooks, 2022.
Nixon, David. International Space Station: Architecture beyond Earth. Circa Press, 2017.
The featured image in this article, an official White House photograph by Shealah Craighead of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence watching the SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 launch Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center Operational Support Building in Cape Canaveral, Florida, is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, it is in the public domain.
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