On May 26, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) made history, becoming the first commercial spaceflight company to berth at the International Space Station (ISS).
This "test run" started with a May 22 launch and culminated in a May 31 splashdown off the coast of California, marking the beginning of a new era for space exploration. The plan is to see NASA pushing the frontiers of space technology, whereas companies like SpaceX will provide the US space agency with routine cargo and crew launch services.
But the Dragon mission was anything but routine. It was a nail-biting, exhilarating, exciting, nerve-wracking, but ultimately historic voyage to low-Earth orbit, offering the world a glimpse of a possible commercial future for the exploration of space. As SpaceX CEO would say, this is also the first step in making mankind "multi-planetary."
So, to mark this historic mission, SpaceX has compiled the Dragon launch, berthing and splashdown highlights and edited them to music. For me, the most emotional parts of the whole video are when you hear and see the SpaceX employees' reaction to launch and unfurling of the Dragon solar panels - it's a heartwarming reminder that space exploration isn't a cold, robotic endeavor; it's a very human experience.
Enjoy the ride!