Space X Successfully Launches American Astronauts

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The years-long dream of bringing the private sector into space travel has finally become a reality! On May 31st, NASA astronauts boarded and launched the first-ever commercially built spacecraft. The Crew Dragon capsule, created by SpaceX, is now carrying American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

On the occasion of the launch, Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, made the following remarks:

“Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts, on American rockets, from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth. I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States. The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars.”

Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, also had a few words for the historic event:

“This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX. It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen. You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”

The American astronauts are bound for the International Space Station, where they will help maintain the orbiter, which has been in continuous service for almost twenty years and is presently is under-staffed.

But SpaceX and NASA both hope that this launch of the Crew Dragon is the first of many future missions to the stars. Eventually, SpaceX intends to offer everyday civilians the chance to travel into the cosmos. Who knows, one day our Instagram feeds may be filled with photos from intergalactic vacations.