The launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Crew Dragon capsule at its summit, is the first manned flight by space society and the first in the United States in 9 years. 

The United States sets out to conquer space. SpaceX will propel two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday. A historic takeoff because it is the first manned flight launched from the United States in nine long years. 

At 4:33 p.m. (10:33 p.m. in France), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take off from step 39A of the Kennedy center on the Florida coast, with the Crew Dragon capsule at its summit, developed by Elon Musk engineers thanks to more than three billion contracts awarded by NASA since 2011.

Bob Behnken, 49, and Doug Hurley, 53, both seasoned in space travel , will be in the capsule and will dock 19 hours later at the ISS, where two Russians and an American are waiting for them. 

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. – commonly called SpaceX – is not 20 years old but is already a founding myth. Created in 2002 by the South African Elon Musk, its goal is to build low-cost rockets, to one day go to Mars, and beyond. The Dragon capsule she designed is very different from what astronauts have known so far. 

A less expensive and “safer” vessel

“The spacecraft carrying these astronauts does not have wings, so it will not land on a runway like the space shuttle. It is then much smaller, which has a major advantage: it is safer because it is placed at the top of the rocket. At any time during the launch, we can separate the capsule to save the crew, it’s a system that is much safer than that of the space shuttle “, explained this Tuesday morning Jean-François Clervois, astronaut and founder of Air Zero G.