What seemed impossible not long ago is now on the verge of becoming routine. A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule successfully launched into orbit on Sunday night from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, setting four astronauts on a course for the International Space Station (ISS). It’s the second crewed launch for SpaceX this year.
By Monday night, the four astronauts will rendezvous and dock with ISS. They’ll spend the next six months carrying out scientific experiments alongside fellow astronauts and cosmonauts who are already on board, bringing the total number of crew members on the space station to seven.
This particular Crew Dragon capsule mission is named Resilience, a nod to the extreme difficulties that were overcome to make this historic launch happen, including this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.
“The message that [the crew] wanted to convey is resilience,” NASA’s ISS program manager Joel Montalbano said at a briefing on Friday.