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

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

It was June 30, 2020. A Falcon 9 rocket has moved away from Earth’s gravity for a very special mission. In fact, it was the first time in nearly ten years that an American vehicle was launched into space with a crew on board. Inside the SpaceX-chartered launch vehicle were two NASA astronauts: Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken. Your 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. In doing so, SpaceX paved the way for the resumption of human spaceflight in the United States, nearly a decade after the retirement of the American space shuttle – it was withdrawn from active service in July 2011.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 return of the United States to the space race, with the re-establishment of its own capabilities for autonomous access to the extra-atmospheric environment. Above all, the mission involved an American company, with a ship launched from American soil, with a national crew inside. All the right boxes have been ticked.

Since then, SpaceX has not been idle. After Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, who were seen as precursors, the American company carried out six other manned missions, always from the US, always with an American rocket. But, on the passenger side, there has been an opening to other nationalities, in the context of partnerships with foreign space agencies or private flights for tourist purposes.

Two years ago, 24 people were already transported between Earth and space by the care of SpaceX – one could almost say that a certain routine has settled in for society, which has become “banal”. Just as the automatic returns of the first stage of each rocket launched became trivial, to be reused later.

Crew-1

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

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

Crew-2

SpaceX’s new mission to the ISS, which this time ran 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, Flight Commander);
  • 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 into orbit around the Earth for three days. None of the passengers were professional astronauts.

  • Jared Isaacman (American, Flight Commander);
  • Sian Proctor (American, pilot);
  • Hayley Arceneaux (American, mission specialist);
  • Christopher Sembroski (American, mission specialist);

Crew-3

New six-month mission with similar characteristics to Crew-1 and Crew-2. It ran from November 2021 to May 2022. Only Thomas Mashburn was a veteran. The other three were making their first space flight.

  • Raja Chari (American, flight commander);
  • Thomas Marshburn (American, pilot);
  • Kayla Barron (American, mission specialist);
  • Matthias Maurer (German, mission specialist);

AX-1

First American private space mission to the ISS, under the aegis of SpaceX, in partnership 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, flight commander);
  • Larry Connor (American, pilot);
  • Eytan Stibbe (Israeli, mission specialist);
  • Mark Pathy (Canadian, mission specialist);

Crew-4

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

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

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