SpaceX has, in many ways, reignited America’s interest in rocketry and space travel. After decades of seemingly humdrum orbital operations (that are actually anything but humdrum), Elon Musk’s private space venture and its partnership with NASA is now on the verge of launching human beings into orbit from American soil for the first time since July of 2011, when the space shuttle program was retired.

Early Saturday morning, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with a scheduled six-day flight that involves docking with the International Space Station and returning to Earth safely.

While the Crew Dragon capsule didn’t carry any astronauts on this flight, it did deliver some 400 pounds of supplies and one space-test dummy the company has dubbed, “Ripley.”

Science fiction aficionados will undoubtedly recognize that name as the protagonist from Ridley Scott’s “Alien” franchise: a series of movies that begins with a commercial space crew encountering an aggressive alien species called Xenomorphs.