Crew Dragon's stunning launch, and Falcon 9's triumphant return to Earth.
SpaceX and NASA are turning a new corner, together. The DM-2 Crew Dragon mission launched from Kennedy Space Center on a Falcon 9 rocket is the culmination of years of work with input from thousands. DM-2 is SpaceX’s first human flight and returns crewed launches to Cape Canaveral nine years after the retirement of the iconic Space Shuttle fleet.
As fate would have it, as SpaceX took its first step toward Mars with its first crewed mission to the International Space Station, they lifted off from the same pad used by the Apollo 11 crew — Launch Complex 39A.
Quick View: Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon
First Stage Engines
9 Merlin 1D+
Second Stage Engines
1 Merlin Vac
Douglas G. Hurley and Robert L. Behnken
Payload to LEO
22,800 kg (50,300 lb)
Payload to Mars
4,020 kg (8,860 lb)
Thrust at launch
7,607 kN (1,710,000 lbf)
Dark skys above crew dragon (John Kraus)
The ongoing pandemic kept many space fans away (John Kraus)
Liftoff! (John Kraus)
A Dragon in Flight (John Kraus)
Falcon 9 Returns (Pauline Acalin)
Scars on Falcon 9 (Pauline Acalin)
Falcon 9 Booster at docks (Pauline Acalin)
Landing legs (Pauline Acalin)
Elon Musk (John Kraus)