Elon Musk

SpaceX test paves the way for first crewed flights to space station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching with a Crew Dragon atop
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching with a Crew Dragon atop. Photo: NASA TV/SpaceX

SpaceX completed a major test on Sunday, paving the way for the company's first crewed launch to the International Space Station. According to founder Elon Musk, SpaceX could launch its first astronauts for NASA by the second quarter of this year.

Why it matters: NASA holds contracts with SpaceX and Boeing to fly astronauts to the station, returning crewed launches to the U.S. for the first time since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

SpaceX launches test of abort system to keep astronauts safe

A top-down view of a Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket. (Artist's illustration)
Artist's illustration of a Crew Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Illustration: SpaceX

SpaceX on Sunday completed an in-flight test of its abort system designed to keep astronauts safe in the event of an emergency during launch.

Why it matters: The test marks the last major milestone ahead of SpaceX's first crewed flight to the International Space Station for NASA.