Cape Canaveral, FL, May 30, 2020
The final space shuttle mission in July of 2011 was the last time American astronauts were launched into space from U.S. soil. Since then NASA has relied on Russian rockets to propel crews to the International Space Station.
Saturday, May 30th, 2020 a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 pm ET carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into orbit. It was spectacular.
Leaving from launchpad 39A, the same location that sent Apollo 11’s astronauts to the moon, the liftoff and transition into orbit proceeded flawlessly. Both astronauts are seasoned veterans of space flight, Hurley was on the final shuttle mission in 2011.
Behnken commented, “It was incredible,” as the Crew Dragon capsule entered Earth orbit. “Appreciate all the hard work and thanks for the great ride to space.”
The main stage of the rocket re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and successfully landed on the drone recovery ship. Unfortunately, the camera onboard lost viewing during the touchdown. Here is a video of a previous similar rocket landing.
Sunday morning the capsule docked with the International Space Station, again with spectacular footage from onboard cameras of both space crafts.