Florida, May 30: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying two veteran NASA astronauts lifted off on Saturday on an historic first private crewed flight into space. The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off smoothly in a cloud of orange flames and smoke from Launch Pad 39A at Florida's Kennedy Space Center for the 19-hour voyage to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Launch With NASA Astronauts: All You Need To Know About Mission Demo-2.
The first booster stage of the rocket separated cleanly and landed upright on a barge off the Atlantic coast. The second stage also separated smoothly, sending the astronauts in the Crew Dragon capsule on their way to the space station orbiting some 250 miles (450 kilometers) above the Earth.
The first crewed flight from US soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011 had originally been scheduled for Wednesday but was delayed because of weather conditions, which also remained uncertain on Saturday right up until liftoff at 3:22 pm
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 31, 2020 01:32 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).