On April 23, 2021, SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station (SpaceX Crew-2). The launch was a historic one: for the first time ever people have flown on a reused rocket (Falcon 9 First Stage) and also in a reused capsule (Dragon Spacecraft).

SpaceX and NASA have launched four astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket at 5:49 a.m. EDT, 9:49 UTC.

Both Falcon 9’s first stage and the Dragon spacecraft have been used in previous missions. The Falcon 9 first stage was used to launch the Crew-1 mission in November 2020 and the Dragon spacecraft was used to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station during SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission in 2020.

SpaceX Crew-2 Mission launch: This is the first human spaceflight mission to fly astronauts on a flight-proven Falcon 9 and Dragon. The Falcon 9 first stage supporting this mission previously launched the Crew-1 mission in November 2020 and the Dragon spacecraft previously flew Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to and from the International Space Station during SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission in 2020.

After launching, SpaceX’s Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft is expected to dock autonomously with the International Space Station on Saturday, April 24, at approximately 5:10 a.m. EDT, 9:10 UTC.

SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Launch
SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Launch. The reused Falcon9 rocket and also reused Crew Dragon spacecraft carried four astronauts onboard.
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts before launch
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts before launch: The four Crew-2 astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour are seen aboard their capsule just before launch. From left to right: Thomas Pesquet (European Space Agency – ESA), Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough (National Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA) and Akihiko Hoshide (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – JAXA). Image credit: SpaceX

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

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