History was created in space programme as Elon Musk-run SpaceX successfully sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard the reusable Falcon 9 rocket. The historic mission was accomplished on Saturday
Bengaluru: History was created in space programme as Elon Musk-run SpaceX successfully sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard the reusable Falcon 9 rocket. The historic mission was accomplished on Saturday.
NASA said in a statement that the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley was on its way to the orbiting laboratory in the space and had safely reached orbit.
It is to be noted that these astronauts sent to space are the first ones from US soil since 2011.
It is further interesting to note that it is the first time that US astronauts have been sent into space by a private company, signalling an end to the US dependence on the Russian space technology.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, the same site used for the first moon landing in 1969, reports CNN.
"I can't believe it with my own eyes. I'm so grateful they're up there," said SpaceX engineer Lauren Lyons, who frequently hosts SpaceX's mission webcasts.
The journey would take approximately 19 hours and the astronauts should reach the space station at around 10.30 ET (eastern time) on Sunday, according to NASA.
After successfully docking, Behnken and Hurley will be welcomed aboard station and will become members of the Expedition 63 crew.
They will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew.
Earlier, NASA and SpaceX postponed historic launch of two astronauts to space from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday due to bad weather.
This is the first-ever crewed mission for SpaceX, nearly a decade after the US government retired the space shuttle programme in 2011.
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Last Updated May 31, 2020, 11:03 AM IST