SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Lifts off with many Historic Firsts

Headed to the ISS with the first long term Black Astronaut, a Japanese Astronaut, and Baby Yoda


Kirsten Smith

The Kennedy Space Center is an American institution and boasts a large tourist center where this ornament is from

On November 15th four astronauts lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral Florida, headed to the ISS. This launch marked the second manned flight from Kennedy Space Center to the ISS with a private company. This flight is also notable for its many firsts, which include the second flight of the Crew Dragon Capsule manned from Cape Canaveral. It is also the first mission oriented flight of the Crew Dragon to the ISS, as the first was primarily a test run. The

Baby Yoda as seen here is a popular character from the TV series-The Mandalorian (Kirsten Smith)

Capsule carried four astronauts , Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and  Soichi Noguchi, in comparison to the earlier test run of two. The astronauts also have many notable achievements in space flight history among them, as Glover is the first full-time black astronaut to be stationed to the ISS and Sochi Noguchi is the first astronaut from the Japanese Space Program to participate in this new era of space flight.

Throughout the flight the astronauts used new technology that allowed the space craft to be fully automated, long gone are the shuttle days of long checklists and frequent checking with mission control. In the modern spacecraft the only requirements of the astronauts are to check in with mission control when needed in order to give updates on various readings such as temperature, capsule pressure, oxygen level etc. Not only are tech

This helmet is similar to those used in the shuttle missions and is now replaced with a sleeker more futuristic design (Kirsten Smith)

advancements seen in this new era of commercial space craft we also see drastic updates to both the capsule and suits of the astronauts, giving sleek futuristic suits that look as if they’re from a Hollywood movie rather than a NASA mission. The suits feature a black and white color scheme with a large glass visor allowing for a wide range of vision, as well as suit upgrades the capsule itself features sleek chairs seating up to four astronauts and touch screen displays rather than the previous rows upon rows of switches. These updated features and designs impress more than just the general public. Astronaut Soichi Noguchi stated that the crew dragon was “the best” out of all three of the spacecraft he had previously flown in, the Russian Soyuz, NASA’s Shuttle, and now Crew Dragon. This new era for both NASA and SpaceX shows how private companies are set to take over and improve low earth orbit missions. This launch marked the first time that the FAA licensed a human orbital space flight launch, further showing that we are getting closer every year to the reality of commercial space flight. These many firsts show why SpaceX is such an important partner for NASA as they are able to dramatically bring down costs with their new rockets and reuse of booster engines, as well as make it possible to have commercial flight to low-earth orbit become routine.