SpaceX put four astronauts into orbit on Friday using the Recycled rocket and capsule, On Elon Musk’s rapidly expanding third manned space flight for NASA in less than a year.
Astronauts from the United States, Japan and France should arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) in the early hours of Saturday after a 23-hour flight in the same Dragon capsule that made the first manned flight of SpaceX in May 2020. It will take six months in the lab. Orbital.
This was the first time SpaceX had reused a spacecraft and a rocket To transport astronauts to NASA, after years of testing its capacity for supply flights to the International Space Station. The thrust was used in November on the company’s second manned flight.
Expedition Commander Shin Kimbro and his crew wrote their initials on the engine weeks ago. Hoping to start the tradition.
“I am happy to be back in space,” Kimbro said over the radio as soon as the capsule entered orbit.
Another NASA astronaut, Megan MacArthurShe took the same seat as her husband, Bob Behnken, On the first manned flight of SpaceX. Also aboard the Japanese Akihiko Hoshid capsule and French Thomas Pesquet, the first European to reach the orbital laboratory on a merchant ship.
Spectators lined the roads near the Cape Canaveral Kennedy Center to watch the Falcon take off before dawn. Its departure was delayed by one day to take advantage of the improvement in weather that would have allowed it to halt the launch before reaching orbit in the event of an emergency.