SpaceX Crew Dragon designed to carry humans launches demo flight

The rocket blasted off without incident at 2:49 am (0749 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, lighting up Florida's coastline.

Published: 02nd March 2019 03:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2019 06:44 PM   |  A+A-

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the unmanned Crew Dragon capsule on its nose sits at Pad 39A (C) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Photo | AFP)

By PTI

CAPE CANAVERAL: SpaceX's new Crew Dragon astronaut capsule was on its way to the International Space Station Saturday after it successfully launched from Florida on board a Falcon 9 rocket.

With only a dummy named Ripley on board, the launch was a dress rehearsal for the first manned test flight -- scheduled for later this year with two NASA astronauts.

The rocket blasted off without incident at 2:49 am (0749 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, lighting up Florida's coastline.

Eleven minutes later, the confirmation came from SpaceX mission control: "Dragon separation confirmed."

That triggered cheers at the firm's headquarters and at the Kennedy Space Center.

The capsule is scheduled to reach the ISS by Sunday at around 1100 GMT, with a return to Earth next Friday.

It will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean, from where it will be brought back to Cape Canaveral.

In another success, the rocket's first stage returned to Earth, landing on a platform 500 kilometers off the Florida coast in the Atlantic.

It marks the 35th such recovery by SpaceX.

After its shuttle program was shuttered in July 2011 after a 30-year run, NASA's manned flights came to an end.

Since then, it has been buying seats in Russian Soyuz rockets -- the only ones capable of transporting humans there.

Keeping its options open, the US space agency in 2014 awarded contracts to both SpaceX and Boeing for them to take over this task.

Boeing's Starliner capsule will be tested in April, at the earliest.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp