SpaceX first launched the ship Crew Dragon

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft launched on Saturday morning. The company noted that this is “the first and important step

on the path to resuming American astronauts flying their own spacecraft from American soil.”

The ship was launched from the Kennedy Spaceport in Floridaat 2.49 am local time (07.49 GMT), on the roof of the Falcon 9 rocket. After this flight, SpaceX and NASA will decide whether the device is ready to carry passengers into space. For this, he must dock with the ISS, and then return to Earth.

Now the only means of delivery crewson the ISS are the Russian Soyuz ships, which cost $ 81 million. The agency wants to get rid of this dependence and, together with SpaceX and Boeing, develop alternative ships for flights.

NASA plans to purchase more seats on the Soyuz at the end of 2019

“We want to be sure that we will keep the partnershipwith Russia, which has been very strong for a long time. But we also want to be sure that we have our own capabilities in order to return to the International Space Station, ”noted NASA.

SpaceX and Boeing are two majorcontractors selected by NASA as part of the Commercial Crew Program to deliver astronauts into space in 2019 using the Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, respectively.

First test flight of Boeing is scheduled for March2019 years. Both companies must complete testing by June. In August, NASA announced astronauts who would go into space with these missions. At the same time, the robotic cargo version of Dragon has already sent cargo to the ISS since 2010 under the SpaceX contract with NASA.