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Escaping Gravity and the struggle to reshape NASA

On Sept. 16, 2021, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ascended into space with a crew capsule atop it, carrying four private citizens—two men and two women. It was the first orbital spaceflight in history without a government employee aboard. More recently, in April of 2022, another milestone was achieved, with the first fully private flight to the International Space Station, in which the four-man crew performed research there for more than two weeks before returning to Earth.