SpaceX completed its first round-trip cargo mission to the station on Oct. 28 under the terms of a $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services agreement signed in late 2008. The 10-year-old company qualified for the contract following a successful May demonstration that marked the first U.S. commercial delivery of cargo to the ISS.
CCiCAP requirements specify a spacecraft that can launch at least four crewmembers with equipment to the orbiting science lab, safely abort from the launch pad, provide a 24-hr. orbital safe haven; and remained docked to the station for 210 days.
During two rounds of NASA-funded Commercial Crew Development activities dating back to 2010, SpaceX initiated work on plans for a seven-seat passenger version of its reusable Dragon capsule and a powered pad-to-orbit launch abort system; as well as a propulsive capability to return space station crews to Earth on land rather than water.