The four astronauts from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor have arrived on board the space station ISS. For the first time, astronauts were sent into space with a used rocket and capsule.

The astronauts departed from the US on Friday for the International Space Station. They were the first space explorers to be transported with a rocket that has already been used in such a flight. On Saturday afternoon they were welcomed by the ISS crew. 

The crew consists of two Americans, a Japanese and a French. They are the third crew sent to the space station by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, in collaboration with the US space agency NASA. Frenchman Thomas Pesquet is the first astronaut of the European space agency ESA to travel to the ISS in a capsule from SpaceX.

Costs can be reduced considerably by reusing the equipment. This cost-cutting operation was also referenced on the license plates of the Tesla cars that transported the astronauts for the launch. It contained the words “recycle”, “reuse” and “reduce”. 

After the launch on Friday, the so-called booster of the Falcon 9 rocket landed safely on a SpaceX drone ship.

The astronauts’ mission takes about six months. They will conduct scientific experiments hundreds of kilometers above the earth. The foursome will, among other things, have 1.5 million photos of the earth with them when they return in the autumn.