Historic Launch: NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 Misson Flight Day Highlights

On May 30, 2020, NASA and SpaceX launched astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. After a 19-hour ride aboard the new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, the astronauts docked to the ISS on May 31. This mission marks the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011 that humans are flying to the space station from American soil, and begins a new era of human spaceflight aboard a commercial spacecraft. Behnken and Hurley were among the first astronauts to begin working and training on SpaceX’s next-generation human space vehicle. As the final flight test for SpaceX, this mission validates the company’s crew transportation system, including the launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, and operational capabilities. Learn more about the mission here . In a related story, look back at Tech Briefs' 2011 interview with NASA's Director of Commercial Spaceflight Development, Phil McAlister, right after SpaceX was awarded the largest commercial launch vehicle contract in history.