The US space agency NASA has finally certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship. The spaceship will carry astronauts to the International Space Station and also bring them back. The certification comes after years of testing. SpaceX is an American aerospace company. It is owned by billionaire Elon Musk. SpaceX’s spacecraft becomes the first new crew spaceship to be used by NASA since the Space Shuttle undertook the first flight in 1981. The Crew Dragon is a reusable spacecraft while the Space Shuttle was a partially reusable spacecraft. NASA operated Space Shuttle for 30 years. The last time Space Shuttle liftoff was in July 2011.
According to NASA, it has signed the Human Rating Certification Plan. The agency’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the ISS will take-off on November 14. The agency underlined that certification is an important milestone that highlights the country’s progress in space technology. The certification came after a series of crucial events. It included grounds tests, uncrewed flight tests, and SpaceX Demo-2 test flight in May with astronauts. The spacecraft returned in August. Before the May launch, both NASA and SpaceX aggressively undertook demonstration flight exercise. This helped them to establish that the system is fully ready to ferry astronauts.
Elon Musk acknowledged the certification by NASA. He thanked the space agency for its support to SpaceX in taking space technology to the next level. He said that SpaceX’s partnership has helped NASA in achieving the goal. He also thanked the Crew Dragon spaceship team for their incredible work. The Crew Dragon spaceship is the first commercial human spacecraft to be certified by NASA. The spaceship will on November 14 carry four American astronauts to the ISS from Kennedy Space Center. Musk noted that it bolsters confidence in an endeavor to return to the Moon, and travel to Mars in the future. The agency is planning to get humans back on the Moon by 2024. NASA is also planning a crew mission to Mars by 2030.