Featured Image Source: SpaceX
SpaceX teams have completed a series of milestones this year that company officials are proud of. In May, SpaceX performed its first crewed voyage to the International Space Station. A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft during the Demo-2 mission. The brave astronaut pair, SpaceX employees call “Space Dads,” tested the Dragon capsules capabilities and functions during their trip. They spent 63 days at the orbiting laboratory conducting scientific experiments and assessing the spacecraft’s performance while docked to the station. The Space Dads returned to Earth on August 2nd aboard Crew Dragon. They crossed Earth's fiery atmosphere and splashed-down in the ocean off Florida's coast, demonstrating Dragon is reliable to carry out human missions to space and back. The successful mission officially returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States. NASA had not launched astronauts from American soil in nearly a decade.
Tracking footage of Crew Dragon’s descent, parachute deployments and splashdown pic.twitter.com/pzbm1iXCC6— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 4, 2020
As a reward for making history as the first American private company to launch astronauts to the Space Station and back, SpaceX employees were given the day off on Friday to celebrate the debut crewed mission’s success, according to sources who spoke to CNBC news. The company called the day off the “Crew Mission Holiday.” The holiday break comes after teams also completed two other missions on SpaceX’s checklist this month.
Starship takes flight pic.twitter.com/IWvwcA05hl— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 5, 2020
On August 4th, SpaceX conducted Starship SN5’s first test flight. The stainless-steel vehicle soared 150-meters into Boca Chica Beach’s sunny sky and landed flawlessly, powered by a single Raptor engine. Teams in South Texas have worked tirelessly to develop a Starship prototype to complete this milestone that takes the company one step closer towards achieving its ambition to colonize Mars. The company aims to launch its first customer aboard Starship on a circumlunar voyage by 2023. SpaceX in South Texas runs operations every day to make it a reality.
SpaceX finished the week strong, on August 7, with the deployment of 57 Starlink satellites and a pair of BlackSky satellites that hitched a ride atop Falcon 9, on the tenth mission dedicated to building the company’s broadband internet network. Starlink will offer internet world-wide to fund SpaceX’s space program which includes building a fleet of Starships to set up a base on the lunar surface and enable life on the Red Planet. The Starlink constellation currently has 595 satellites in orbit. SpaceX officials say that at least 800 satellites are required to offer ‘moderate’ coverage. The company aims to roll out service in portions of Northern United States and Canada before this year ends.
SpaceX is changing the course of humanity’s future, making it more exciting and inspiring for everyone. – The ‘Crew Mission Holiday’ celebration is well deserved for everyone’s hard work and dedication. Congratulations to SpaceX!
Deployment of 57 Starlink satellites confirmed pic.twitter.com/myKxr3QSTu— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 7, 2020