SpaceX and NASA made history on Sunday when four astronauts launched successfully to the International Space Station from Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule Resilience lifted off at 7:27 p.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center. The launch began a 27½-hour journey through space to the orbiting platform, which passed over the launch site just before liftoff. The astronauts planned to sleep aboard the spacecraft, and did not plan to perform any navigation of the self-guided capsule unless necessary, according to NASA.
The flight marks the first SpaceX crewed mission considered to be operational after NASA certified the rocket and capsule for regular missions last week. Astronaut Mike Hopkins, 51, is flying with pilot Victor Glover, 44, and mission specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi of Japan, both 55. Glover is on his first trip into space; the other three astronauts have already been to space.
Sunday’s launch is only the second crewed liftoff from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.
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