SpaceX’s historic launch succeeds on its second attempt

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying two veteran NASA astronauts lifted off on Saturday on a historic first private crewed flight into space.

The two-stage SpaceX 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.

Roughly nine minutes after the Falcon 9 took off, the first stage rocket successfully set down on its autonomous sea barge, “Of Course I Love You” and at T+12:30 the Crew Dragon capsule successfully separated from the second stage rocket. Behnken and Hurley will now spend the next 19 hours en route to the ISS.

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