America is back in the game. On 30 May 2020, astronauts were launched from US soil for the first time for nearly a decade.

NASA’s last crewed mission launched from US territory prior to this was its final space shuttle flight in 2011, aboard the Atlantis STS-135. Since then, NASA has had to pay Russia upwards of US$90 million a seat for each of its astronauts to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on its Soyuz spacecraft. Until last month – when Space X’s Crew Dragon, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre, safely delivered its two passengers to the ISS amid jubilant cheers from NASA HQ.