A SpaceX rocket blasted off towards the International Space Station on Friday. It is the firm’s third NASA-crewed voyage this year.
“Endeavour launches once again — four astronauts from three countries on Crew-2, now making their way to the one and only International Space Station,” an announcer said as the Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 5:49 am local time (0949 GMT, 1149 CET) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The crew included Spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough and NASA’s Megan McArthur, France’s Thomas Pesquet and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide.
They will embark upon a six-month mission on the ISS. They will replace a second set of astronauts, who will return to Earth next Wednesday in their own SpaceX capsule.
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of Space X, met with the astronauts before they headed to the pad, wishing them well from a safe social distance.
What kind of ship are they using?
For the first time, SpaceX used a recycled Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule for a crew launch.
The company has been helping NASA fly Astronauts to space after the agency’s shuttles retired in 2011.
Boeing, NASA’s other designated taxi service, isn’t expect to launch astronauts until early next year.
jf/rt (AP, Reuters)