SpaceX rocket embarks on historic flight

SpaceX rocket embarks on historic flight

SpaceX rocket embarks on historic flight

(SpaceX) NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken wave as they exit the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

It turns out that astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley did, in fact, listen to something whilst preparing to hurtle away from the Earth's surface.

"They made it. After launching from @NASAKennedy on the @SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft yesterday, @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug have officially joined the @Space_Station crew today at 1:02pm ET - making history in the process".

The docking occurred just 19 hours after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Saturday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center, the nation's first astronaut launch to orbit from home soil in almost a decade.

Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin also offered his congratulations to both NASA and Elon Musk, the boss of the private aerospace company SpaceX that built the Crew Dragon capsule. This Crew Dragon test flight is a shakedown cruise to certify that the spacecraft meets NASA's needs and safety standards in order to start routine trips taking astronauts to and from the space station.

"This is something that should really get people, right in the heart of anyone who has any spirit of exploration", Musk, the visionary also behind the Tesla electric auto company, said after liftoff, pounding his chest with his fist.

United States President Donald Trump spoke with Musk, and called him "one of the great brains". Since then, NASA, SpaceX and Boeing have worked for years to end that dependence. "The SpaceX Dragon Capsule has successfully reached low Earth orbit, and our astronauts are safe and sound!"

They were greeted by fellow U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy, as well as cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, all in the blue jumpsuits of the space station, which was launched in 1998 and first inhabited in 2000. "There's really no major problems".

The two Americans received a warm welcome from the current crew on board the ISS, after executing an hours-long critical spacecraft docking.

"During their stay Behnken and Hurley will continue to perform more checks on Endeavor in order to sign-off on its readiness". But Behnken and Hurley got there first. If no major problems arise during this test flight, NASA will use data from this flight to certify that the Crew Dragon is ready for routine flights to the space station.

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