NASA has launched its first SpaceX Crew Dragon operational launch, marking an important milestone in the space program.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, took off from launch complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:27 p.m. ET on Sunday. Shortly after launch, the first-stage launch vehicle separated from the Crew Dragon. He touched a drone sailing in the Atlantic Ocean about 10 minutes after takeoff.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named by the Resilience crew, will arrive at the International Space Station around 11pm on Monday.
“Sustainability is increasing,” NASA tweeted.
The six-month mission is the first rotation flight of the crew of a US commercial spacecraft.
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“Great launch!” President Donald Trump tweeted. “@NASA was a closed catastrophe when we took power. Now it is again the ‘hottest’, most advanced, space center in the world, so far.”
President-elect Joe Biden tweeted his congratulations to NASA and SpaceX after the launch. “This is a testament to the power of science and what we can achieve by using our innovation, ingenuity and determination,” he wrote. “I join all Americans and people in Japan when I want astronauts to speed up their journey.”
The Crew-1 mission transported NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japanese aerospace astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the International Space Station aboard the Crew Dragon vehicle. A successful Demo-2 mission follows earlier this year.
“Godspeed Crew-1!” Tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein a few hours before launch. The NASA chief also tweeted a selfie with the four astronauts.
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The launch was postponed from Saturday due to the weather.
Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence reviewed the launch at the Kennedy Space Center.
However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was removed from COVID-19. On the eve of the launch, Musk revealed that “most likely” there is a moderate case of coronavirus, despite mixed results
NASA astronauts will join their colleague Kate Rubins in the orbital space laboratory, where they will conduct a number of scientific studies.
Crew-1 marks another important milestone in America’s space program since the Demo-2 flight earlier this year.
On August 2, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Benken crashed into the Gulf of Mexico in the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, ending their historic two-month space trip.
The mission marked the first time astronauts launched from the United States since the last space shuttle flight in 2011. Amid fiery advertising, the Demo-2 mission took off from the Kennedy Space Center on top of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 30.
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After the space shuttle program ended, the United States relied on Russian Soyuz rockets launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to take astronauts into space. Russia has charged the United States about $ 75 million to send an astronaut into space, and the Associated Press reports that the latest ticket to the Union costs America $ 90 million.
Chris Chiacha of Fox News, Christine Fisher, Lauren Blanchard, David Clark, Erin McEwan and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
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