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SpaceX has successfully launched four astronauts into Earth’s orbit and carried them to the International Space Station in its most ambitious mission yet for NASA.
On Monday night, the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship maneuvered into position in front of the ISS, slowly inched forward, then gently bumped into an ISS port and locked itself in. After hours of locking procedures, leak checks, and hatch openings, astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker of NASA, as well as Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, floated into the open arms of their colleagues on the ISS.
The mission, called Crew-1, is the first of six operational astronaut flights that NASA has contracted from SpaceX. Assuming the astronauts stay on the ISS for six months as planned, it will be the longest human spaceflight in US history.
The launch marked the first time the US has used its own human-rated launch system since the Space Shuttles retired in 2011. It was also the first time a commercial entity has accomplished such a feat. In the future, this new era of commercial spaceflight could expand to send astronauts to the moon and Mars, and even bring tourists to space.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech