NASA and SpaceX launch astronauts from US soil for the first time in nearly a decade

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A SpaceX rocket (Falcon 9) and spacecraft (Crew Dragon) carrying two NASA astronauts soared into outer space Saturday — marking the first time humans have travelled into Earth’s orbit from US soil in nearly a decade.

Liftoff occurred at 19:22 UTC from Kennedy Space Center on the Atlantic coast of Florida in the presence of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Ten minutes later, the capsule was safely in orbit. After having accomplished its task of pulling the two men from Earth’s gravity, the first stage of the 70-metre rocket separated as expected and returned to land, vertically, on a barge off Florida: SpaceX is the only company in the world to recover its launchers in this way.

Astronauts Robert Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, will spend about 19 hours aboard the Crew Dragon capsule as it slowly manoeuvres its way toward the International Space Station, which flies at more than 400 km above the oceans at more than 27,000 km/h.

The spacecraft is expected to dock with the space station around at 14:29 UTC on Sunday, May 31.

Bob and Doug have named their Dragon spacecraft “Endeavour

Source and more information: CNN

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