At 3:22 pm ET on 30 May 2020, SpaceX became the first private space company to deliver NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET
NASA astronauts are heading to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nine years aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, the maiden crewed flight of the innovative spacecraft.
The mission, which is sending Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, is a bold new venture for the space agency’s plan to allow commercial companies to take its astronauts into low-Earth orbit.
The duo left a fiery plume behind at Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A at 3:22 p.m. ET as they rode SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket toward a rendezvous with station in about 19 hours time. On Wednesday, storms and a tornado warning upended a launch attempt, with the veteran space shuttle astronauts suited up and strapped into the Dragon before the mission was scrubbed.
“It was incredible. Appreciate the great ride to space,” Hurley told flight controllers.