Two NASA astronauts have departed for the International Space Station this Saturday aboard a Space X Crew Dragon spacecraft. It is the first US manned flight on a US spacecraft and from US soil since the space shuttle flights ended in 2011.
As scheduled, the launch of Douglas Harley and Robert Behnken occurred at 19:23 UTC from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Initially the mission was intended for the mission to depart on May 27, but bad weather forced it to be postponed for three days.
Two minutes after takeoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket separated, which headed in a controlled manner towards the ground. The second stage of the rocket was activated to bring astronauts into orbit at supersonic speed. Twelve minutes after takeoff, the Crew Dragon separated from the second stage. The trip to the Space Station is estimated to take about 19 hours.
“It is absolutely an honor to be a part of this great effort to get the United States back into the launch business,” said Doug Harley before the launch.