On March 2, a Crew Dragon spacecraft launched from Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. It’s the first American spacecraft built to carry a crew to the International Space Station since 2011. “What today really represents is a new era in spaceflight,” Jim Bridenstine said after the launch. He is the administrator of NASA.
Crew Dragon was built by SpaceX, a company run by businessman Elon Musk. On this test run, no people were on board. Instead, SpaceX sent up a test dummy. The dummy, named Ripley, has sensors that measure how people onboard might experience acceleration. If Crew Dragon’s six-day mission goes well, two real astronauts might be flying on the ship as soon as this summer.