Watch: SpaceX, NASA landmark launch of two astronauts succeeds
SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched two Americans toward orbit from Florida on Saturday in a mission that marks the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from US soil in nine years.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Centre at 3.22pm EDT (7.22am NZT) launching Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a 19-hour ride aboard the company’s newly designed Crew Dragon capsule bound for the International Space Station.
The mission’s first launch try on Wednesday was called off with less than 17 minutes remaining on the countdown clock due to stormy weather around the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The forecast for the reattempt was likewise precarious with a 50-50 chance of launch. Mission managers plan to make an earlier decision on weather hazards in a bid to avoid unnecessarily wearing out the crew with another suit-up and full day of launch preparations.