Two years ago, SpaceX sent 2 people into space. Since then, there have been 24 others.

That was two years ago, and it was historic: SpaceX sent people into space for the first time. Since then, it has become something common for the American company.

It was June 30, 2020. A Falcon 9 rocket pulled away from Earth’s gravity for a very special mission. In fact, it was the first time in almost ten years that an American vehicle had been sent into space with a crew on board. Inside the launch vehicle chartered by SpaceX were two NASA astronauts: Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken. Their mission: to reach the International Space Station (ISS).

The mission, titled Demo-2, was a success. After nearly 63 days aboard the ISS, at an altitude of 400 kilometers, the two men returned to Earth with a landing off the coast of Florida. Thus, SpaceX paved the way for the resumption of human spaceflight from the United States, almost a decade after the retirement of the American space shuttle – it retired from active service in July 2011.

Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken. // Source: NASA Kennedy

In many ways, this mission, carried out two years ago, was historic: it marked the United States’ return to the space race with the re-establishment of its own options for autonomous access to the extra-atmospheric. Above all, the mission involved an American company, with a ship launched from American soil, with a national crew inside. All the correct fields were selected.

Since then, SpaceX has not been inactive. After Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, who were seen as forerunners, the American company completed six other manned missions, always from the United States, always with an American rocket. On the passenger side, openness to other nationalities has been observed in the framework of partnerships with foreign space agencies or private flights for tourist purposes.

For two years, 24 people have already been transported between Earth and space by SpaceX – you could almost say that a certain routine has laid down for society, that it has become “banal”. Just as the automatic returns of the first phase of each launched rocket have become trivial, to be reused later.

Crew-1

SpaceX’s first operational mission to the ISS for a period of six months (November 2020 – May 2021). Victor J. Glover made his very first space flight, the other three had already been sent two or even three times to the ISS.

  • Michael Hopkins (American, air traffic controller);
  • Victor J. Glover (American, pilot);
  • Soichi Noguchi (Japanese, mission specialist);
  • Shannon Walker (American, mission specialist);

Crew-2

New SpaceX mission to the ISS, which this time took place from April to November 2021. This mission was particularly followed in France due to the presence of Thomas Pesquet on board.

  • Robert Shane Kimbrough (American, air traffic controller);
  • Megan McArthur (American, pilot);
  • Akihiko Hoshide (Japanese, mission specialist);
  • Thomas Pesquet (French, mission specialist);

inspiration 4

Inspiration 4 was SpaceX’s first manned space mission that did not involve the ISS. It involved sending a capsule in orbit around the Earth for three days. None of the passengers were professional astronauts.

  • Jared Isaacman (American, air traffic controller);
  • Sian Proctor (American, pilot);
  • Hayley Arceneaux (American, mission specialist);
  • Christopher Sembroski (American, mission specialist);

Crew-3

New six-month mission, with similar features to Crew-1 and Crew-2. It took place from November 2021 to May 2022. Only Thomas Mashburn was a veteran. The other three were in the process of their very first space flight.

  • Raja Chari (American, air traffic controller);
  • Thomas Marshburn (American, pilot);
  • Kayla Barron (American, mission specialist);
  • Matthias Maurer (German, mission specialist);

AX-1

First US private space mission to the ISS, led by SpaceX, in collaboration with Axiom. Michael López-Alegría is the only professional astronaut. The other three are tourists. They spent 17 days on the ISS.

  • Michael López-Alegría (American, air traffic controller);
  • Larry Connor (American, pilot);
  • Eytan Stibbe (Israeli, mission specialist);
  • Mark Pathy (Canadian, mission specialist);

Crew-4

SpaceX’s latest manned mission. She traveled in April 2022 and will be staying there for another six months. Return scheduled for September. Jessica Watkins is the first black woman to join the ISS.

  • Kjell N. Lindgren (American, air traffic controller);
  • Robert Hines (American, pilot);
  • Samantha Cristoforetti (Italian, mission specialist);
  • Jessica Watkins (American, mission specialist);

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