The new SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship successfully entered orbit Saturday after separation from the second stage of the Falcon 9 launcher, NASA reports.
The Crew Dragon, which took veteran astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken on a test flight, was the first U.S. manned spaceship to be launched from U.S. territory since 2011 when the shuttle program was discontinued.
Crew Dragon has separated from Falcon 9’s second stage and is on its way to the International Space Station with @Astro_Behnken and @AstroDoug! Autonomous docking at the @Space_Station will occur at ~10:30 a.m. EDT tomorrow, May 31 pic.twitter.com/bSZ6yZP2bD
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2020
The Crew Dragon was launched using a Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 15:22 U.S. East Coast time. The first attempt at launch took place on May 27, but the flight was canceled 15 before the launch due to bad weather.
Now the Crew Dragon is heading for the International Space Station (ISS), which should dock on May 31.
This is the last test flight of the ship before it is certified by NASA for commercial flights. In March last year, the same ship successfully flew to the ISS in unmanned mode.
Since 2011, NASA astronauts have been flying to the ISS by Russian Soyuz ships for money. The next such flight will take place in October. NASA will pay Roscosmos $90.2 million for one place on the ship.