Elon Musk‘s making more history — SpaceX just sent the first Black woman to the International Space Station for an extended period of time.
Jessica Watkins is one of four astronauts who were hurled into orbit early Wednesday morning — part of a mission called Crew-4, which was using yet another Dragon rocket to make their daylong ascent.
The team went up around 1 AM PT, and they’re expected to dock at the ISS later today, at about 5 PM PT. Crew-4 will stay up there for 5 months, before returning in September.
Like we said … Watkins is the 1st woman of color who’ll have been in space for an extended period of time. Guion Bluford was the first Black person to go up into space, period, back in 1983 — and since then, more than a dozen African-Americans, in general, have gone up.
Now, as for what they’re going to be doing at the ISS … general upkeep, maintenance and research — something the previous team, Crew-3, has been doing since November. They’re all doing a bit of a trade-off here, and Crew-3 will come back home after Crew-4 settles in.
In the past 2 years — after SpaceX landed a major contract with NASA — Elon has sent up 26 people into orbit in what are now seemingly just run-of-the-mill trips into space. That’s actually a good thing, because as you know … EM seems to think the future is up there.
He’s said he wants to eventually colonize Mars, so the more we’re up in our galaxy … presumably, that’s for the better — as we can then start inching our way further out.
Of course, there’s a commercial aspect too. SpaceX, much like Blue Origin, has started selling private seats for private flights … so space travel is becoming the norm now, it seems.