This may be a transcendent year for SpaceX

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken familiarize themselves with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.

Enlarge / NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken familiarize themselves with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. (credit: NASA)

In the early years of SpaceX at its first factory in El Segundo, the company had a mock-up of a spacecraft that it intended to one day take humans into space. The company's engineers called the capsule Magic Dragon, an allusion to the folk song "Puff, the Magic Dragon." The dope name didn't stick—but the aspiration to launch humans into space has remained among SpaceX's big goals since its founding in 2002.

Now, that day may finally be at hand. The launch of Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a Crew Dragon spacecraft later this year, perhaps as early as this spring, represents the top-level achievement SpaceX will reach for in 2020, but it is far from the only potential accomplishment on the table. Here's a look at some of the company's major goals for this year.

Crewed flight

The biggest priority for NASA in 2020 is to regain the capacity to get its astronauts to the International Space Station on US vehicles. Since 2011 and the retirement of the space shuttle, now nearly a full decade ago, NASA has relied on Russia and its Soyuz spacecraft for such transport.

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https://arstechnica.com/?p=1637783

Source: Ars Technica

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