🚀 The SpaceX Dragon, also known as Dragon 1 was a reusable cargo spacecraft developed by SpaceX, an American private space transportation company. Dragon was launched into orbit by the company's Falcon 9 launch vehicle to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). During its maiden flight in December 2010, Dragon became the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to be recovered successfully from orbit. On 25 May 2012, a cargo variant of Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with and attach to the ISS.SpaceX is contracted to deliver cargo to the ISS under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services program, and Dragon began regular cargo flights in October 2012.With the Dragon spacecraft and the Orbital ATK Cygnus, NASA seeks to increase its partnerships with domestic commercial aviation and aeronautics industry.
On 3 June 2017, the CRS-11 capsule, largely assembled from previously flown components from the CRS-4 mission in September 2014, was launched again for the first time, with the hull, structural elements, thrusters, harnesses, propellant tanks, plumbing and many of the avionics reused while the heat shield, batteries and components exposed to sea water upon splashdown for recovery were replaced.
SpaceX has developed a second version called Dragon 2, which includes the capability to transport people. Flight testing was scheduled to complete in the first half of 2019 with the first flight of astronauts, on a mission contracted to NASA, scheduled to occur later the same year; however, a test pad anomaly in April 2019, which resulted in the loss of a Dragon 2 capsule, delayed this development.
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