SpaceX has now launched a flight-proven Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) 20 times.
Following the successful launch and docking of the CRS-28 mission. SpaceX broke a couple of U.S. Spaceflight records.
CRS-28 marked the 38th time a Dragon spacecraft visited the orbiting outpost, beating the record held by the Space Shuttle. SpaceX is currently the only U.S.-based company making regular visits to the ISS, with resupply missions and crewed missions for NASA. Later this year, they will also be launching 3 Cygnus resupply vehicles owned by Northrup Grumman, which is retiring its rocket, the Antares 230+.
After the first full day in space, Dragon 2 also broke the U.S. record for total time in space at 1,324 days in orbit. The Dragon capsule that is flying the CRS-28 mission is C208 and is on its 4th flight to the ISS.
Dragon C208 docked with the ISS on Tuesday, June 6th at 5:54 AM ET, delivering over 7000 lbs of supplies and experiments. Also on board, located in the trunk of the spacecraft, is a pair of IROSAs (International Space Station Roll Out Solar Arrays) that will provide increased power to the space station.
Launching this mission was Falcon 9 B1077, which has launched 5 times now, including previously sending the Crew-5 mission to the ISS. After stage separation, the first stage successfully landed on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas,’ and while the first stage was landing, the 2nd stage continued its burn to insert the Dragon capsule into the necessary orbit so it could catch up to the ISS. The 2nd stage featured a shorted engine bell as the full MVAC engine bell was not needed, and SpaceX has been able to save on material costs when the extra performance is not required.
With the International Space Station expected to be used well into the future, SpaceX will continue delivering supplies and ferrying astronauts to and from the orbiting outpost for many years to come, most likely surpassing quite a few more spaceflight records.
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