After years of planning and hard work, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched SpaceX’s first operational mission into space. At 7:27 p.m. on Nov. 15, the ship, known as Resilience, successfully left the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with four crew members on board.
On board are three NASA astronauts: Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover, and one Japanese astronaut, Soichi Noguchi. Their trip to space consists of a 27-hour long flight, and they plan to stay at the International Space Station for six months.
At two minutes and forty seconds, the first and second stages, or parts, of the ship separated. At two minutes and 48 seconds, the second stage engine started. The ship reached zero gravity at 8:50 p.m. on Nov. 15. Thirty seconds after the launch time, SpaceX was already passing over the coast of North Carolina.
The Dragon Capsule, the part where the passengers sit, measures approximately 328 cubic feet wide and 26.7 feet tall. It is the only pressurized part in the whole ship.
The trunk, located directly beneath the capsule, contains solar panels that cover half of it. The solar panels help the ship during its climb by providing it with power.
Almost all parts of the spaceship detach on its way up except for the trunk. The trunk detaches from the spaceship just before reentry to Earth.
In total, there are six stages that must be successful in order to arrive at the International Space Station. The first stage is liftoff, followed by orbit activation, phasing burns, approach initiation, proximity operation and finally, docking and pressurization.
Traveling a total of 12,000 kilometers per hour, SpaceX expects Resilience to arrive l at the ISS at 11 p.m. on Nov. 16.