SpaceX launches its new Crew Dragon capsule for the first time, paving the way for passenger flights

Early Saturday morning, SpaceX successfully launched its new Crew Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral, Florida — the start of a milestone test needed to certify the vehicle for carrying passengers.

Mounted on top of one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, the Crew Dragon soared into space at 2:49AM ET and deployed into orbit just 11 minutes later. Following takeoff, SpaceX then landed its Falcon 9 on one of the company’s drone ships in the Atlantic — the company’s 35th successful landing overall. The capsule, now in orbit around Earth, will attempt to dock with the International Space Station early tomorrow morning. It’s the ultimate dress rehearsal for how the capsule will someday bring NASA astronauts to the orbiting lab.

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