Elon Musk’s SpaceX and US space agency NASA have made history by launching two astronauts to International Space Station, on Sunday. The two NASA astronauts had climbed into their capsule for a second attempt into orbit aboard a rocket ship, designed by SpaceX at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Veteran astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken pulled on their angular, white-and-black spacesuits with help from technicians wearing masks, gloves, and black hoods that made them look like ninjas. Their destination is the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth. It is also NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from US soil in nearly a decade.
This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft will return human spaceflight to the United States. Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station.
The mission unfolded amid the gloom of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 100,000 Americans, and racial unrest across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. NASA officials and others held out hope the flight would lift American spirits.