Dragon 2, also known as Crew Dragon, embarked, atop the Falcon 9 rocket, on its first unmanned test mission to the ISS from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, at 2:49 a.m. EST (07:49 GMT) on Saturday. It is expected to reach the ISS later on Sunday.
We’ve got NASA “rocking” again. Great activity and success. Congrats to SPACEX and all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 3 марта 2019 г.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk thanked Trump for the congratulation and also expressed gratitude to NASA.
Thank you on behalf of SpaceX. Also, thank you to @NASA, without whom this would not be possible.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3 марта 2019 г.
Under a contract with NASA, SpaceX developed Crew Dragon on the basis of Dragon cargo ship, which flies to the ISS since 2012. The company sent the spacecraft for its first unmanned test mission with a dummy, named Ripley, on board.
In case you missed it: A beautiful launch from @NASAKennedy of the @SpaceX Falcon 9 🚀 and #CrewDragon spacecraft. https://t.co/1E628hMr0F— NASA (@NASA) 3 марта 2019 г.
This historic flight sends the #CrewDragon on its way to dock with @Space_Station & provides data toward certification to fly astronauts. pic.twitter.com/PDq6FhGaZg
The United States has not launched astronauts from its soil since 2011, when the Space Shuttle program ended. Currently, it is Russian-made spaceships Soyuz that delivers US astronauts to the ISS.
In 2014, NASA signed contracts with private companies SpaceX and Boeing to create a manned spacecraft and ensure the delivery of astronauts to the ISS. The dates of the start of flights by both companies were repeatedly postponed.
According to the latest data, Crew Dragon will perform its first manned test mission in July. Starliner spacecraft, which is being constructed by Boeing, is expected to perform an unmanned flight to the ISS in April, while a manned flight is slated for summer.