SpaceX makes history with launch of astronauts

Source: Politico | May 30, 2020 | Jacqueline Feldscher

Trump, Pence among digitaries making another trip to Florida for historic milestone.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX made history Saturday with the maiden launch of two NASA astronauts into orbit aboard a commercially owned spacecraft. The Crew Dragon lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:23 p.m. for its 19-hour journey to the International Space Station, the first human spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011.

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The mission is the first crewed launch under a public-private partnership with NASA called the Commercial Crew program, under which the space agency plans to buy rides to space on commercially-owned vehicles that are also used to transport other nations’ astronauts, space entrepreneurs and even private citizens.

The launch is a “much awaited turning point in our new space age,” said Namira Salim, one of the founders of Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company that plans to fly later this year. “It is a giant leap not only for commercial spaceflight, but ushers a new era for human spaceflight which makes space affordable and accessible for commercial entities and spacefaring and emerging space nations.”

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