A Crew Dragon spaceship was successfully launched on Sunday with three NASA astronauts and a JAXA specialist.
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This article has been translated from our English edition.
This story originally appeared on PCMag
SpaceX was the first private company to bring people to the International Space Station on Sunday.
At 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, three NASA astronauts – Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Michael Hopkins – and JAXA specialist Soichi Noguchi took off from Launch Complex 39A in the Kennedy Space Center on their way to the ISS.
Previously scheduled for a Halloween launch, the mission was postponed until mid-November, giving SpaceX more time to assess what NASA called “unusual behavior” from a Falcon 9. The wait was worth it. and the spaceship Crew Dragon, known as Resilience, is to dock autonomously to the space station at around 11 p.m. tonight. Visit NASA Television or the agency’s website for live coverage of the mooring, hatch opening, and welcoming ceremony.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the work we did here today,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX, in a statement. “Falcon 9 looked great, Dragon was put into beautiful orbit about 12 minutes after the mission, and we will get more data over time.”
Walker, Glover, Hopkins and Noguchi are accompanying Expedition 64 members Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov on a six-month mission aboard the ISS. The new team will also welcome the Russian Soyuz vehicle and the upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon in 2021.
Sunday’s historic launch, the first of six scheduled flights by the NASA / SpaceX Commercial Crew Program, paves the way for a future of routine launches that transport international scientists to and from the ISS. After NASA’s space shuttle program ended in 2011, the agency had to rely on Russia to get astronauts to the floating laboratory.
“NASA is fulfilling its commitment to the American people and our international partners to provide safe, reliable, and inexpensive missions to the International Space Station using American private industry,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
“This is an important mission for NASA, SpaceX and our partners at JAXA,” he continued. “And we hope this crew can do it [la] Station to continue our partnership for all of humanity. “