SpaceX Becomes First Private Company to Send Humans Into Space

“It’s been 18 years working towards this goal, so it’s hard to believe that it’s happened.”

For the first time ever, a private company has sent humans into orbit. Elon Musk‘s SpaceX accomplished this dream at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, May 30, launching a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon SpaceX capsule for a Sunday rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). 

NASA veteran astronauts Robert (Bob) Behnken and Douglas Hurley rode the privately-owned rocket into history.

Getty Images

Behnken and Hurley added emotional weight to the moment when they revealed that the capsule they were in would get a name change and become the Endeavour

The new name is a salute to NASA‘s first shuttle with that name as well as Behnken’s and Hurley’s previous rides into space.

SpaceX added a milestone to its record Sunday when the capsule docked successfully with the ISS. 

Another significant detail: This marked the first launch from US soil in nine years.

Speaking at a press conference after the launch, billionaire Elon Musk said he was “really quite overcome with emotion on this day, so it’s kind of hard to talk, frankly.”

“It’s been 18 years working towards this goal,” Musk continued, “so it’s hard to believe that it’s happened.”

According to its website, the company’s goals are straightforward. With this successful mission in the books, SpaceX will next set its sights on a manned Moon landing then a mission to Mars.

It’s beginning to look like having a private company handle the tech side of the mission may be the way to go, after all.