NASA and SpaceX Made History Launching Astronauts into Space
SpaceX rocket blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying two astronauts to orbit from United States soil for the first time in nearly a decade.
It was a historic moment for SpaceX, which became the first private corporation to launch people into orbit. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 3:22 p.m. from pad 39A, the historic site from which the crew of Apollo 11 left for the moon, after a seamless countdown where the primary concern was inclement weather that on Wednesday had forced a postponement of the first launch attempt.
On board the spacecraft are two of NASA’s most experienced space travelers, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, both former military pilots who previously had each flown two missions on the Space Shuttle. But their ride to space this time was on a vastly different spacecraft, a fully autonomous, next-generation capsule outfitted with Tesla-like touchscreens and temperature controls that allow astronauts to keep the cabin at between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.