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DM-2 launches astronauts from U.S. soil once again.

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

May 30th 3:22 pm EST. atop a Falcon 9 rocket, the crew dragon Carries astronauts to the ISS.

For the first time in nine years the U.S.A. is once again capable of launching crews of astronauts into space. Since space shuttle Atlantis touched down in 2011 the U.S. has not had the ability to launch humans into orbit. We've relayed on the Russian space program, Roscosmos for almost a decade now, paying them millions per seat for a ride to the International Space Station. Delayed from May 27th, the Falcon 9 rocket got off the ground early Saturday afternoon.

Along for the ride were astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Both veteran astronauts having been to orbit several times each during the shuttle program they are no strangers to space and reportedly happy to be back. Doug in fact was the last shuttle commander to fly during the program, bringing Atlantis home for the last time with STS-135. He was happy to finally end the game of capture the flag having placed an American flag aboard the space station nine years ago with the stipulation the flag would only return to Earth with the next crew to fly from KSC (Kennedy Space Center). The flag also flew on STS-1, the first shuttle mission with John Young, and Robert Crippen. Though he will have to wait a few more weeks to bring the flag home, he has already gone and "captured" it from the way it's hung on for almost a decade now.

Spectators from across the world to spectate the launch in person. It's estimated that 200,000 people were in attendance along the space coast. Anxiety ran high that day for all in attendance as the initial forecast stated there was a 50% chance the launch would once again be delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions. Still the astronauts were driven to the pad and loaded inside the crew dragon. About forty five minutes before launch the call was made to GO, and the teams began to fuel the rocket. Clouds were rolling in from the south and west as launch goers and NASA/SpaceX crews alike all willed the weather to hold off. It seemed to have worked to as we have now seen the men float through the hatch of the ISS to become the first astronauts to fly from a commercial company about 19 hours after lift off.

The patch or "insignia" for this mission was designed by Andrew Nyber, and artist from Minnesota and the nephew of the space flight commander Doug Hurley. Featuring the logos of the Commercial Crew Program, the Falcon 9, Crew Dragon and the red chevron of the NASA "meatball" logo. Also featured are the words NASA, SpaceX, Hurley and Behnken are printed around the border along with the words "First crewed flight". Also of note is that the Falcon 9 rocket had the NASA "worm" logo on one side. The logo was officially retired back in 1992 but has been gaining popularity once again and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine decided to bring it back, at least for this mission.

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