SpaceX’s 16-foot-tall (4.88-meter-) Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at.
The mission is uncrewed for this flight, but if it goes well, the American space agency is likely to approve the system for regular astronaut use from later this year.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said this could be the first step towards opening space travel to commercial customers
“Alien,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a picture that appeared to show the dummy sat in the capsule. “Ripley,” Musk wrote in a post accompanying the picture, referring to the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the famous film and its sequels.
The Boeing and SpaceX launch systems are aimed at ending U.S. reliance on Russian rockets for rides to the $100 billion orbital research laboratory, which flies about 250 miles (402 km) above Earth, at about $80 million per ticket.
NASA has awarded SpaceX and Boeing Co $6.8 billion to build competing rocket and capsule systems to launch astronauts into orbit from American soil for the first time since the U.S. Space Shuttle was retired from service in 2011.