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NASA astronauts head for ISS on historic SpaceX flight

Published : Monday, 1 June, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 213

WASHINGTON, May 31: Two veteran NASA astronauts were headed for the International Space Station on Saturday after Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel.
SpaceX's two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from Florida's Kennedy Space Center for a 19-hour voyage to the space station.
"Let's light this candle," Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22 pm (1922 GMT) from NASA's storied Launch Pad 39A. The SpaceX launch is the first of American astronauts from US soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011 and the first crewed flight ever by a private company.    -AFP



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