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Behold! SpaceX's 1st Crew Dragon Spaceship Is On the Launchpad

10 January 2019

If the uncrewed test flight goes well, and an additional upcoming abort test is passed, SpaceX will have completed a significant milestone in preparing to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that he could be ready to test SpaceX's Starship hopper in the next several weeks. The agreement in place with Russian Federation will allow NASA to send crew on Soyuz flights in 2019, but the sooner SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner spacecrafts are ready for prime time, the better.

A look at SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spacecraft attached to its Falcon 9 rocket as both sit inside their hangar at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida in January 2019. If the test flights are successful, the first manned flight of the Starship will happen in mid-2020s.

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The Crew Dragon on top of the Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center. That flight was previously scheduled for June of this year. It's still an early stage test, and doesn't mean Crew Dragon will be ready for passengers immediately, or even within months.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's first Crew Dragon spacecraft rolls out of its hangar at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 3, 2018. The space agency selected SpaceX and Boeing to design, build and launch spacecraft to carry US astronauts back and forth to the space station as a replacement for the space shuttle. NASA will be able to send astronauts to the International Space Station.

SpaceX hopes to make history from Launch Complex 39A, which also hosted the launch of the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969 and the first space shuttle mission in 1981. It will use parachutes to splash down in the ocean, also like the uncrewed Dragon.

Behold! SpaceX's 1st Crew Dragon Spaceship Is On the Launchpad