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.
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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