A SpaceX rocket blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday with four astronauts, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, heading for the International Space Station (ISS), the first minutes of the flight going well.
The Falcon 9 launcher, received by applause in SpaceX’s control room, took off at 5:49 am.
This is the third manned flight of SpaceX, a private company founded by Elon Musk that is now transporting NASA astronauts after nine years of US dependence on Russian Soyuz missiles.
In addition to Thomas Pisquet of the European Space Agency (ESA), the other three crew members on the Crew-2 mission are American astronauts Shane Kimbro, Megan MacArthur and Japanese Akihiko Hoshide.
“Here are four astronauts from three different countries from (this mission) Crew-2 on their way to the only International Space Station,” said a commentator from SpaceX.
Netizens have seen the four astronauts displaying their enthusiasm with applause, as they enter orbit, thanks to the camera on board their Dragon spacecraft.
Docking on the International Space Station must take place in less than 24 hours.
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