The American space agency has roped in SpaceX, a private firm of Elon Musk, to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station ISS and back. This responsibility was with Russia ever since 2011 when the United States ended the Space Shuttle era. It was becoming a costly affair (around 90 million US dollars per seat), and Elon Musk came up with an alternative. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "The history being made this time is we're launching what we call an operational flight to the International Space Station." The first team consists of three American astronauts and one Japanese.

There is a delay in the launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket because of unfavorable weather conditions.

Mirror UK quotes SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk saying: "This is a great honor that inspires confidence in our endeavor to return to the Moon, travel to Mars, and ultimately help humanity become multi-planetary." Elon Musk's company conducted a trial run in May and set the stage for an all-American space setup. NASA awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing for providing crewed launch services to and from the ISS. That was in 2014. Elon Musk has already achieved success and is upbeat about SpaceX and manned missions to the Moon and Mars. Trips of this nature would depend on the extensive use of artificial intelligence and Renewable Energy.

SpaceX heralds a new era of human spaceflight

The combination of Elon Musk and SpaceX is playing a stellar role in expanding the boundaries of space. In May, his company became the first private company to send humans into orbit. Two Americans traveled to the ISS and returned to base to confirm the capability of crewed missions.

Four astronauts are now on their way to the space lab. Mirror UK reveals the Crew Dragon capsule would carry three astronauts of NASA and one from Japan. They are Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, respectively. Their stay at the ISS would be of six months, and they would conduct a range of scientific experiments.

The crew would launch from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

First operational mission of SpaceX

According to CBC CA, SpaceX's eight-hour flight would be the first operational mission to the space lab using the Crew Dragon capsule. Officials of NASA accepted the design of Crew Dragon. It ended a decade of development phase as a part of the public-private crew program. It was a vision of Elon Musk, and he usually attends such high-profile missions. However, he might not be present for this launch because he tested positive for coronavirus. It is presumed that the team members headed for the International Space Station are free from infection because they were in routine quarantine for weeks before their flight.

This flight of SpaceX would be the first one from American soil to the ISS after a decade. It would reduce dependence on a third party.

Reusable rockets of SpaceX meant economy

CBC CA adds that NASA had set the ball rolling to locate an alternative to Russian rockets to transport astronauts to the ISS and back. In 2014, it contracted SpaceX and Boeing to develop a suitable vehicle. The result was the Crew Dragon of SpaceX. It has become operational. Boeing is concerned. Its first crewed test mission with its Starliner capsule is planned for late next year. Incidentally, Elon Musk is a visionary and dreamt up the concept of reusable rockets. It has gained acceptance because of the economy involved.

The normal system was to treat rockets as one-time use items that would crash land in the waters. However, Musk had different ideas. He planned to retrieve them for repeated use and succeeded. In June 2017, SpaceX reusable rockets made 11 successful landings.