SpaceX Launches 2 NASA Astronauts Into Orbit In Historic Mission

According to UKMail, there was a 50 percent chance Falcon 9 would not take off due to ominous clouds and lightning risks, but the weather cleared with just 45 minutes left on the clock countdown.

President Donald Trump, the First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were among the attendees of the event in Florida. Historically, NASA subcontracted numerous aerospace companies to build spacecraft, but SpaceX exists in the private sector.

It would also have been the first time in almost a decade that the United States launched astronauts into orbit from USA soil.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are trying to become the first men launched into space from USA soil since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

The preparations took place in the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed an estimated 100,000 Americans.

For Musk, the launch represents another milestone for the reusable rockets his company pioneered to make spaceflight less costly and more frequent.

"America is leading again in space", Bridenstine said.

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Still, Musk said he wasn't nervous about the launch on Saturday the way he was during the previous attempt.

The mission would put Musk and SpaceX in the same league as only three spacefaring countries - Russia, the United States and China, all of which gave sent astronauts into orbit.

"What today is about is reigniting the dream of space and getting people fired up about the future", he said in a NASA interview before the flight was scrubbed. "Just a spectacular job with the simulator as the vehicle flew exactly like the simulators out in Hawthorne", Hurley said, referring to SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

NASA and SpaceX pulled off a successful launch Saturday of the Elon Musk-led company's Falcon 9 rocket.

She said the children had faint memories of watching in person one of the last shuttle launches nearly a decade ago when they were preschoolers. The pair will stay at ISS for four months. "It's exciting and hopeful". Boeing also preparing to carry people to the orbiting lab as part of the same "Commercial Crew" program at NASA.

Over the past decade, NASA astronauts only used Russian Soyuz rockets and capsules to reach the space station, at a cost of more than $70 million per seat.

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