NASA and SpaceX's Demo-2 Crew Dragon launch in may will mark the first time the space agency has actually sent a crewed mission to an are in nearly a decade.

You are watching: Final shuttle launch for nasa in 2011

By john Saavedra | may 30, 2020 | | comments count:0
Photo: NASA

NASA and also SpaceX will make background on might 30 once it launches the Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission, the very first crewed American flight to space since the end of NASA’s room Shuttle Program. This is a significant turning suggest for the American room agency and also the next huge step in the advertisement Crew Program, the federally-funded initiative that tasked aerospace manufacturers SpaceX and Boeing to develop brand-new spacecraft because that NASA. Demo-2, i beg your pardon will note the an initial time a private firm has flown a crewed mission, will certainly be the best test because that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon craft. You can watch the liftoff live right here.

The success the the mission, i beg your pardon will view the Crew Dragon launch into Earth’s orbit and also dock v the International space Station, will unlock a brand-new era that American space travel, with the long term score of sending out astronauts earlier to the Moon and eventually to Mars. However in the quick term, the commercial Crew regime will transfer astronauts to and also from the International space Station.

The last launch of the an are Shuttle regimen took location on July 8, 2011 at 11:29 am ET. Designated STS-135, the final space shuttle mission witnessed the Atlantis launch from Launch Pad 39A in ~ the Kennedy room Center in Florida and also dock v the International room Station. Atlantis changed to planet on July 21 and also the space Shuttle routine was officially shut under on Aug. 31, 2011.

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“With today’s final launch the the an are shuttle we revolve the page on a remarkable period in America’s history in space, while start the next chapter in our nation’s extraordinary story the exploration,” former NASA administrator Charles Bolden stated after the start of STS-135. “Tomorrow’s destinations will inspire brand-new generations of explorers, and the spaceship pioneers have made the following chapter of human spaceflight possible.”

For practically a decade due to the fact that the finish of the room Shuttle Program, American astronauts have actually traveled come the International room Station on Russia’s Soyuz capsule, which costs NASA $80 million every seat, according to The Verge. Per the outlet, NASA payment SpaceX $3.14 billion to design and also build the Crew Dragon and $4.8 billion to Boeing to construct the CST-100 Starliner, developing a brand-new kind that American an are race.

After 6 years of work and also testing, SpaceX is poised to take a sizable leap front in the competition. After an unsuccessful uncrewed flight test in Dec. 2019 the was plagued v several concerns that prevent the CST-100 Starliner indigenous docking through the ISS, Boeing will launch a second uncrewed orbital test sometime in October or November 2020 before attempting a crewed trip in 2021.

For now, every eyes space on the Crew Dragon.

“The Demo-2 mission will certainly be the final significant step before NASA’s advertising Crew routine certifies Crew Dragon because that operational, long-duration missions to the space station,” NASA claimed in a mission briefing. “This certification and regular operation of Crew Dragon will permit NASA to proceed the importantresearch and also technologyinvestigations taking place onboard the station, i m sorry benefits human being on Earth and lays the groundwork forfuture expedition of the Moon and also Marsstarting withthe agency’s Artemis program, which will land the an initial woman and also the next guy on the lunar surface in 2024.”

Almost a decade after the finish of the an are Shuttle Program, the American dream of an are is really much alive.