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SpaceX successfully took off on its second attempt

SpaceX successfully took off on its second attempt Crew Dragon spacecraft

As scheduled, the launch of Douglas Harley and Robert Behnken occurred at 3:23 PM from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Two NASA astronauts have departed for the International Space Station this May 30 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. It is the first US manned flight on a US spacecraft and from US soil since the shuttle’s flights ended in 2011 space.

As scheduled, the launch of Douglas Harley and Robert Behnken occurred at 3:23 PM from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SpaceX spacecraft successfully took off

The mission was scheduled to depart on May 27, but bad weather forced it to be postponed until Saturday 30. Two minutes after takeoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket separated, which headed in a controlled way towards the ground. The second stage of the rocket was activated to bring astronauts into orbit at supersonic speed.

“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.

Since ending its space shuttle program, NASA has had to pay Russia to use its Soyuz rockets and carry American astronauts into space.

This mission of the Crew Dragon capsule, called “Demo-2”, will be key for SpaceX, a company that Musk founded in 2002 with the objective of developing a lower cost alternative for manned space travel.

By 2012, it managed to become the first private company to couple a cargo pod to the ISS, and since then has regularly provided refueling services to the station.

Two years later, NASA commissioned him to adapt that capsule for the transportation of astronauts, for which he paid more than $3  billion to SpaceX, which was to design, build, test, and operate a capsule that could be reused for six one-way trips and back to space.

SpaceX carried out the first litmus test of its capsule -Crew Dragon- piloted by Ripley, a sensor-covered doll whose name alludes to the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the movie “Alien”, in March last year, AFP reported.

The project has suffered delays and setbacks of all kinds, from explosions to parachute problems, but still SpaceX has surpassed its competition, the aerospace giant Boeing, which is developing its Starliner capsule in parallel.

The capsule will dock about 19 hours later at the station.

How long will the astronauts be in space?

Behnken and Hurley will join their residents, astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.

The length of Behnken and Hurley’s stay on the ISS has not been determined yet, but Crew Dragon can stay 114 days (16 weeks) in space.

Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, indicated that they could return to Earth in early August.