WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — NASA and SpaceX launched Crew Dragon spacecraft’s first operational crew mission on Sunday, carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month stay.
The mission, dubbed “Crew-1,” is the first crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the ISS.
The spacecraft lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday (0027 GMT Monday), from historic Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are aboard the capsule named Resilience.
NASA confirmed main engine cutoff and separation of the rocket’s first and second stages minutes after the lift-off. The spacecraft is now on its way to the ISS for its first operational mission.
Falcon 9’s reusable first-stage booster has successfully landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” drone ship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The spacecraft is scheduled to dock to the space station about 27 hours and 32 minutes after the launch, at around 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT) Monday, according to NASA.