SPACE X’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on June 13, 2020 – relaunching American space flight after NASA was forced to retire its Space Shuttle in 2011.
The Crew Dragon’s flight marks a special milestone in the history of America for being the first that takes astronauts into the orbit. It is also the first privately built spacecraft to take a successful flight. The two crewmembers of Crew Dragon – Bon Behnken and Doug Hurley have safely reached the orbit and later docked with the ISS on May 31.
NASA also benefited from the overall expenditure of Crew Dragon. According to the news report, NASA paid both SpaceX and Boeing contracts worth $3.1 billion and $4.8 billion respectively. This is deemed as the cheapest spaceflight development effort in close to 60 years. A NASA audit also concluded that the price per seat on SpaceX is significantly more cost-effective than their previous programs.
In fact, the Apollo program had a cost per seat of $390 million and the figures for Space Shuttle come in at $170 million. However, SpaceX Crew Dragon will cost NASA around $55 million per seat, while Boeing’s Starliner adds up to $90 million.The figures by SpaceX is considerably lower than any other option, making a winning situation for NASA.