MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Falcon 9 rocket lifted both its crew dragon capsule and hopes that made-in-America space travel is back.
Ten minutes after a picture perfect launch, the SpaceX rocket’s first stage successfully touched down on a recovery ship 300 miles off the Florida coast.
It was far, but not out of sight.
A photo was taken by a CBS4 viewer from Parkland, which can be seen in the above video. The arching colors of the rocket were defined in the morning sky.
By then, the Crew Dragon was already orbiting earth at five miles per second and headed for a docking with the international space station Sunday morning.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said, “To be frank, I’m a little emotionally exhausted. That was super stressful, but it worked. So far.”
Through next Friday, the Crew Dragon must meet a series of milestones.
It just first disconnect and undock from the space station, re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and lastly, splash back down off the Florida coast.
If all goes well, SpaceX could taxi two astronauts as early as this summer.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “What today really represents is a new era in space flights.”
On this mission, the only passenger is a dummy, a smart dummy named Ripley.
He is outfitted with sensors to measure the impact of the ride for its eventual first flyers.
It’s a six day mission in the Crew Dragon is scheduled to splash back down to earth next Friday morning.