SpaceX crew mission reaches orbit

The Crew 2 mission, the company’s second operational crew launch for NASA, reached orbit after the launch from Kennedy Space Center of NASA

April 26, 2021: – On Friday morning, SpaceX launched a group of astronauts for NASA, with Elon Musk’s company now having sent ten astronauts to space within a year. The Crew-2 mission, the company’s second operational crew launch for NASA, reached orbit after the launch from Kennedy Space Center of NASA in Florida at 5:49 a.m. ET.

 A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took the four astronauts to space in the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft known as Endeavour.

The launch marks multiple new firsts for SpaceX. The company reused a rocket and a capsule for the mission and exceeded the total number of astronauts launched to space in the Mercury program starting in 1958.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule carrying NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet of France are on their way to the International Space Station. The mission is scheduled to dock on Saturday at around 5:10 a.m. with the ISS about 24 hours after launch.

“We’re just glad to be back in space, and we’ll send our regards to Crew-1 when we get there,” Kimbrough said from the spacecraft post-launch.

The Crew-2 team will perform a complete duration mission on the ISS, spending about six months onboard. The four will join the Crew-1 astronauts, launched in November before the last team’s Crew Dragon capsule Resilience returned to Earth.

SpaceX also landed the booster of its Falcon 9 rocket, the large, lower section of the missile. This Falcon 9 rocket booster previously launched the Crew-1 mission in November, and SpaceX is planning to continue using it to project future missions.

Elon Musk said during a press conference after the launch that he was “Thrilled to be part of advancing human spaceflight and looking forward to going beyond Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars, and helping makes humanity a spacefaring civilization.”

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