The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SpaceX on Sunday, November 15, launched four astronauts on a flight to the International Space Station (ISS).
This marked the beginning of the space agency's first full-fledged mission of sending a crew into orbit on a privately-owned spacecraft.
SpaceX's newly designed spacecraft 'Crew Dragon Capsule', which is known as 'Resilience', carried a team consisting of astronauts —Mike Hopkins, a US Air Force colonel; physicist Shannon Walker; Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi along with navy commander and rookie astronaut Victor Glover (who is reportedly the first Black astronaut to spend full six months aboard the space station) to space.
US President-elect Joe Biden took to social media to hail the historic launch and said "a testament to the power of science and what we can accomplish by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity, and determination," while President Donald Trump called it "great."
On the successful liftoff, Mission commander Mike Hopkins said: "To all the people at NASA and SpaceX, by working together through these difficult times, you've inspired the nation the world."
"And now it's time for us to do our part, Crew 1 for all," he added, reported Al Jazeera.
The mission has been termed as an important milestone in the development of the space industry where private-sector organizations provide business and tourism services in low-Earth orbit.
Elon Musk, the billionaire SpaceX Chief Executive who is also CEO of the electric carmaker and battery manufacturer Tesla Inc could not watch the liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center launch control room, NASA officials said. He had earlier tweeted informing that he had developed a moderate case of COVID-19, however, he was getting different results from different labs.
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