SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 27-hour ride to the International Space Station carrying four astronauts inside the Crew Dragon capsule dubbed Resilience.
The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 7:27pm ET (0:27GMT on Monday) and was set for a rendezvous with the ISS some 27 hours later. The launch was originally scheduled for Saturday, but had to be postponed due to forecasts of gusty winds.
NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), are scheduled to spend six months on board the ISS.
They will join the existing ISS crew, including Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.
The crew is go for launch pic.twitter.com/HqJGin0gg7
This weekend’s launch has been praised by NASA as historic, signaling both the first time a commercially developed spaceship is being used on a regular ISS mission and the official return of the US capability for launching astronauts into space, lost with the closure of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.
Dragon has completed 22 flights to and from the @space_station. It was designed from the beginning with human spaceflight in mind – even the first cargo Dragon had a window pic.twitter.com/tpl7smjFhF
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