Second NASA and SpaceX manned mission to the ISS takes off from Florida

International Space Station

I took off from the Kennedy Space Center to take a Dragon capsule with four astronauts, one of them a European

Liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA and the SpaceX company successfully launched the second manned commercial mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with four astronauts from Cape Caaveral (USA) on Friday. United States, France and Japan they will relieve the first, sent last November.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off at around 5.53 local time (9.53 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center to take a Dragon capsule from the same company into space to that microgravity laboratory where seven other astronauts await them.

NASA astronauts travel aboard Shane Kimbrough Y Megan McArthur, as the Japanese Akihiko Hoshide, from the JAXA space agency, and the French Thomas Pesquet, of the European Space Agency (ESA, in English). It is the first European to travel in this capsule. And it is also the first time in more than 20 years that a team from NASA, ESA and JAXA have flown together.

The rocket booster, visibly dirty, having already been used last November for the launch of SpaceX Crew-1 to the ISS, landed about nine and a half minutes later on the maritime platform “Of course I still love you” in the Ocean. Atlntico after detaching from the Falcon 9 rocket second stage.

Both the propeller, such as the Dragon capsule used today they had already been used in missions to the ISS.

This reuse, to lower costs, is key to the partnership between Elon Musk and NASA to multiply flights to the ISS to advance scientific experiments and future missions to the Moon and Mars.

Minutes after the landing of the propeller, the Dragon capsule separated from the second stage and is already traveling on its own, reported NASA in its transmission of the takeoff that began four hours before launch. You specify that the ship is flying at about 17,000 miles per hour (about 27,000 kilometers).

The US federal agency anticipates that the capsule will dock to the space station at approximately 05.10 local time (09.10 GMT) on Saturday.

This is the second of at least six missions SpaceX will undertake to the ISS under a $ 2.6 billion contract signed with NASA in 2014.

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