For the first time, a commercially built and operated spacecraft designed to carry a human crew has docked at the International Space Station from U.S. soil. The Crew Dragon spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 2:49 a.m. ET Saturday.
Why it matters: The launch, known as the "Demo-1 mission," brings the U.S. closer to restoring human spaceflight capabilities through NASA's Commercial Crew program. Under this $6.8 billion program, the Elon Musk-founded SpaceX and Boeing are building and testing the next generation of space taxis and cargo carriers to the ISS. Saturday's launch marks the first time a crew-capable spacecraft blasted off under this program in a mission aimed at demonstrating and testing its capabilities.