A series of partially reusable cargo spaceship called Dragon, commonly referred to as Dragon 1 or Cargo Dragon, was created by American commercial space transportation corporation SpaceX. The company’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle put Dragon into orbit to replenish the International Space Station
Dragon was the first privately produced and piloted spacecraft to be safely recovered from orbit on its inaugural flight in December 2010. The first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with and connect to the ISS was a cargo variant of Dragon on May 25, 2012. Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services programme, SpaceX has a contract to supply the ISS with goods, and Dragon started conducting regular cargo trips in October 2012. With the Dragon spacecraft and the Orbital ATK Cygnus, NASA aims to expand its collaborations with the domestic aeronautics and commercial aviation industries.
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The C106 capsule was launched again for the first time on CRS-11 on June 3, 2017, and was largely constructed from previously flown components from the CRS-4 mission in September 2014. The hull, structural components, thrusters, harnesses, propellant tanks, plumbing, and many of the avionics were reused, while the heat shield, batteries, and components exposed to sea water upon splashdown for recovery were replaced.
A follow-up model, known as Dragon 2, was created by SpaceX and can carry people. After being delayed by a test pad anomaly in April 2019 that resulted in the loss of a Dragon 2 capsule, flight testing was finally completed in 2019. In May 2020, during the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission, the first astronaut flight on Dragon 2 took place.
On March 7, 2020 (UTC), the first Dragon spacecraft (Dragon 1) embarked on its final mission, a cargo resupply mission (CRS-20) to the International Space Station (ISS). The Dragon 1 fleet was retired after this flight, which was SpaceX’s final one under the inaugural Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-1) programme. The cargo-carrying variant of the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft is used for more SpaceX commercial resupply flights to the ISS under the second Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-2) programme.