NASA, SpaceX launch historic Crew Dragon test flight to space

SpaceX and NASA launched the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, the first-ever test crew flight to the International Space Station (ISS) as a result of the public-private partnership.

The commercially-built crew spacecraft lifted off at 2:49 a.m. EST for the ISS on Saturday on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying more than 400 pounds of crew supplies and equipment to the space station. It is also carrying a lifelike test device named Ripley, outfitted with sensors to provide data on potential effects on humans traveling in Crew Dragon.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated SpaceX and NASA team and said that the first launch of a space system designed for humans, and built and operated by a commercial company through a public-private partnership, is a revolutionary step that could lead to future explorations of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

The historic first test flight, known as Demo-1, is an uncrewed mission designed to test the end-to-end capabilities of the new system. The mission is projected to bring back human launches to the space station from the US after the last space shuttle mission in 2011.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will dock at the space station at 6:05 a.m. on March 3. It will remain docked for five days before undocking and beginning its descent back to Earth on March 8.

NASA and SpaceX plan to use the data from Demo-1 to prepare for Demo-2 which will be a crewed test flight to the space planned for July this year.

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