The latest SpaceX launch included a historic collaboration with NASA, and now the Crew Dragon spacecraft has successfully completed its ascent past the atmosphere as it makes its way to dock on the International Space Station. This is the first manned crew on a private spacecraft to ever reach the International Space Station. This follows the original SpaceX Dragon, which was the first private spacecraft to reach the ISS in 2012 and has since made regular supply runs to the station. SpaceX also made history earlier this summer when they sent the first crewed private craft into space, so 2020 has been a huge year for the company.
The event was televised on NASA TV after being delayed from the original Saturday, November 14 launch time due to weather. It was the latest project in a collaboration with NASA that has resulted in a contract that could be worth up to $3.1 billion for SpaceX.
"As you can imagine, we are very excited to be here in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center for the final days before our launch to the International Space Station," said mission commander Michael Hopkins during a press conference last week.
"We’ve been here less than 24 hours, and in that time we have seen our rocket, we have seen our space vehicle Resilience, and we’ve seen our space suits," Hopkins added. "For an astronaut, that’s considered a pretty good day."
The crew is currently expected to stay on the International Space Station for up to six months, where they will perform routine maintenance on the station while also conducting various experiments. A report indicates there could be issues surrounding sleeping arrangements on the station as all of the bunks are currently occupied by crews already on board, but the astronauts indicated that they'd be able to sleep on the shuttle as it remains docked.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon is expected to arrive at the International Space Station around 4:20 AM EST on Monday morning. Fans should be able to watch the event on the YouTube player above, or visit CBSNews.com for more info.