It worked: a rocket from SpaceX has taken off tonight. For the first time in history, a commercial company is bringing people to space. The historic launch took place around 9:22 PM Dutch time.
Launching Crew Dragon done from space base Cape Canaveral in Florida. The two NASA astronauts in the spacecraft are Douglas Hurley (53) and Bob Behnken (49).
27,000 kilometers per hour
The launch went according to plan. After a few minutes, the rocket reached a speed of 27,000 kilometers per hour. If the mission goes well, the astronauts will arrive at the International Space Station on Sunday evening.
On Wednesday evening the launch was postponed fifteen minutes before time due to the risk of lightning . Today was fine again.
The rocket’s first stage, which caused the capsule to lift off the ground, landed safely and monitored on a special vessel in the Atlantic Ocean about 10 minutes after launch. The ship, called Ofcourse I Still Love You, brings the launcher ashore for reuse.
It is the first time in 9 years that astronauts have been launched into space from American soil. For the first time, this happens with a spacecraft from a commercial company: the Crew Dragon was created by the SpaceX company of Tesla boss Elon Musk. America has depended in recent years on Russia, which was the only country able to bring people back to space station ISS and back.