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‘New Era’ Begins with Crewed Launch of SpaceX and NASA Crew-1 Mission

What seemed impossible not long ago is now on the verge of becoming routine. A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule successfully launched into orbit on Sunday night from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, setting four astronauts on a course for the International Space Station (ISS). It’s the second crewed launch for SpaceX this year.

By Monday night, the four astronauts will rendezvous and dock with ISS. They’ll spend the next six months carrying out scientific experiments alongside fellow astronauts and cosmonauts who are already on board, bringing the total number of crew members on the space station to seven. 

This particular Crew Dragon capsule mission is named Resilience, a nod to the extreme difficulties that were overcome to make this historic launch happen, including this year’s COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The message that [the crew] wanted to convey is resilience,” NASA’s ISS program manager Joel Montalbano said at a briefing on Friday.

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‘One heck of a ride’: SpaceX launches astronauts into space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX launched four astronauts on a flight to the International Space Station on Sunday, NASA’s first full-fledged mission sending a crew into orbit aboard a privately owned spacecraft.

SpaceX’s newly designed Crew Dragon capsule, which the crew has dubbed Resilience, lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27 p.m. eastern time (0027 GMT on Monday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“That was one heck of a ride,” astronaut Mike Hopkins said from Crew Dragon to SpaceX mission control about an hour after liftoff. “There was a lot of smiles.”

Crew Dragon will gradually raise its orbit for the next 27 hours through a series of onboard thruster firings, giving the astronauts time to eat pre-packaged dinners and roughly eight hours to rest before docking at the International Space Station at

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SpaceX launches astronauts on mission to the International Space Station

(Reuters) — Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX launched four astronauts on a flight to the International Space Station on Sunday, NASA’s first full-fledged mission sending a crew into orbit aboard a privately owned spacecraft.

SpaceX’s newly designed Crew Dragon capsule, which the crew has dubbed Resilience, lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27 p.m. eastern time (0027 GMT on Monday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“That was one heck of a ride,” astronaut Mike Hopkins said from Crew Dragon to SpaceX mission control about an hour after liftoff. “There was a lot of smiles.”

Crew Dragon will gradually raise its orbit for the next 27 hours through a series of onboard thruster firings, giving the astronauts time to eat pre-packaged dinners and roughly eight hours to rest before docking at the International Space Station at 11 p.m. eastern time on Monday.

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SpaceX launch marks a new era for NASA [Video]

SpaceX launched four astronauts into orbit on Sunday (November 15) marking a major milestone for NASA.

It was their first full-fledged mission on board a privately-owned spacecraft.

The ‘Resilience’ is SpaceX’s newly-designed Crew Dragon capsule.

It blasted off atop the company’s Falcony 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Flordia, a big win for billionaire Elon Musk, who founded the company.

Astronaut commander Mike Hopkins described the launch as “one heck of a ride.”

The crew headed to the International Space Station some 250 miles (or 400 km) above Earth – a 27-hour trip.

Ahead of lift-off the astronauts fitted in their custom white suits, driven out to the launch pad in SUVs made by Tesla, another of Musk’s companies.

The other NASA crew include Victor Glover, reportedly the first Black astronaut to live aboard the orbiting laboratory, and physicist Shannon Walker

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi was also onboard,

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Biden and Trump congratulate NASA and SpaceX on historic launch

SpaceX launched four astronauts into space Sunday night, marking a first for NASA and private space travel. The four astronauts — Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover of NASA, plus Japan’s Soichi Noguchi — are the first sent to the International Space Station from U.S. soil since NASA’s space shuttles were retired in 2011, and the first to travel there aboard a privately built spacecraft certified by NASA for human spaceflight. Both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden tweeted their congratulations after the successful launch.

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SpaceX Speeds Astronauts to Space Station in Milestone Trip

(Bloomberg) — Four astronauts are cruising to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX capsule in the company’s first regular NASA mission to the International Space Station.



The interior of SpaceX's new seven-seat Dragon V2 spacecraft, the companys next generation version of the Dragon ship designed to carry astronauts into space, is seen at a press conference to unveil the space capsule, in Hawthorne, California on May 29, 2014.


© Photographer: ROBYN BECK/AFP
The interior of SpaceX’s new seven-seat Dragon V2 spacecraft, the companys next generation version of the Dragon ship designed to carry astronauts into space, is seen at a press conference to unveil the space capsule, in Hawthorne, California on May 29, 2014.

The Dragon capsule is scheduled to arrive at about 11 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, more than 27 hours after blasting off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dragon was performing as expected in orbit and would approach the station and dock automatically as programmed, said Kathy Lueders, the NASA associate administrator who oversees human spaceflight.

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“It was a beautiful launch,” she said at a news conference late Sunday after the launch, adding

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SpaceX launches first full crew to the International Space Station

“By working together through these difficult times, you’ve inspired the nation, the world, and in no small part the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience,” Commander Mike Hopkins said right before liftoff.

Once reaching orbit, he radioed: “That was one heck of a ride.”

Sidelined by the coronavirus himself, SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk was forced to monitor the action from afar. He tweeted that he “most likely” had a moderate case of covid-19. NASA policy at Kennedy Space Center requires anyone testing positive for coronavirus to quarantine and remain isolated.

Sunday’s launch follows by just a few months SpaceX’s two-pilot test flight. It kicks off what NASA hopes will be a long series of crew rotations between the United States and the space station, after years of delay. More people means more science research at the orbiting lab, according to officials.

Cheers and applause erupted at SpaceX

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SpaceX, NASA launch Crew-1 mission on historic journey to the ISS

Resilience lifts off on its way to the International Space Station


NASA

Resilience is on the way to the International Space Station. At exactly 7:27 p.m. ET, a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster burst to life at Launch Complex 39A, its engines lighting up the Florida coast. The picture-perfect launch of the gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon spacecraft — given the nickname Resilience — marks a historic moment in American spaceflight history

“By working together through these difficult times, you’ve inspired the nation, the world, and in no small part, the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience,” said Michael Hopkins, spacecraft commander of Crew-1 prior to launch.

Resilience is a theme of the launch. Not since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 has NASA sent humans to orbit from American soil in an operational mission. The launch for this particular mission has been delayed, pushed back and postponed multiple

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Thanks to SpaceX, NASA regains a capability it lost for a decade

The Crew-1 mission streaks into the Florida sky on Sunday evening.
Enlarge / The Crew-1 mission streaks into the Florida sky on Sunday evening.

A skinny black-and-white rocket streaked skyward on Sunday evening, climbing into Florida’s darkening twilight skies. Its nine engines burned brightly as the Falcon booster pushed a spacecraft carrying four astronauts toward orbit.

And soon, they were there.

By all appearances, SpaceX’s first operational Crew Dragon flight started off successfully, sailing smoothly through the arduous ascent phase of the mission. A couple of hours after launch, SpaceX engineers were troubleshooting an issue with heaters on fuel lines leading to the spacecraft’s Draco engines. But this will likely be solved, and on Monday night an hour before midnight, Florida time, the crew—NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover; and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi—should dock with the International Space Station.

If all goes well, their flight to the space will be entirely autonomous. The crew will not need

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SpaceX launches 2nd crew, regular station crew flights begin

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company.

The Falcon rocket thundered into the night from Kennedy Space Center with three Americans and one Japanese, the second crew to be launched by SpaceX. The Dragon capsule on top — named Resilience by its crew in light of this year’s many challenges, most notably COVID-19 — reached orbit nine minutes later. It is due to reach the space station late Monday and remain there until spring.

“By working together through these difficult times, you’ve inspired the nation, the world, and in no small part the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience,” Commander Mike Hopkins said right before liftoff.

Once reaching orbit, he radioed: “That was one heck of a ride.”

Sidelined by the coronavirus himself, SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon

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