In May 2012, the private company SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit with a Dragon space capsule as its payload. In a history-making event, it docked with the International Space Station and a few days later successfully returned to Earth.
SpaceX put together a short video with the highlights from this amazing mission:
I am not at all embarrassed to admit that parts of this choked me up a little. As incredible as the engineering display was, the best parts of this video are where it shows the SpaceX employees cheering and celebrating the mission milestones. We may get wrapped up in the technical details of these things, but never forget that even in uncrewed missions, space exploration is a singularly human endeavor. I'm proud of these folks, and proud to be a part of species that always wants -- always needs -- to venture ever outward.
- SpaceX Dragon on its way to the ISS!
- When a Dragon mated the space station
- Dragon hunting above, dragon hunting below
- History is made as Dragon splashes down safely in the Pacific!