NASA, SpaceX launch astronauts from US soil for the first time in a decade:

The United States hasn’t launched its own astronauts into space since the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. Since then, NASA’s astronauts have had to travel to Russia and train on the country’s Soyuz spacecraft. Those seats have cost NASA as much as $86 million each.

The launch also marked the first time in history that a commercial aerospace company has carried humans into Earth’s orbit. SpaceX has been working on the Crew Dragon spacecraft for 15 years.

Our extended family from Oregon to California to Colorado watched the launch. So great to see America back in space this way.

Importantly, the reusable first stage made a good landing on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship. This means that the cost of the mission should be substantially less than any previous manned mission. It’s now probably as cheap as it’s ever been to get humans into space. 

One way of thinking about this is to imagine if every time you went on a car trip, you had to throw away the car at the end of it. The cost of doing that would be insane. That’s been the case for rockets from the beginning. Yes, we’ve been able to fly the space shuttle back down, but getting it up there has meant casting aside millions of dollars in single use rocket engines. 

For human space flight, that changed today.