SpaceX has sent four NASA astronauts into orbit around the earth, on a first regular mission to International Space Station. This is NASA‘s first full-fledged mission to send astronauts into space involving a privately owned spacecraft.
NASA said it marks the beginning of a new era where private firms will take astronauts to low earth orbits, BBC reports.
The astronauts will be in space for 6 months. The latest launch has been named Crew-1 mission, which has come after 18 years of Elon Musk founding SpaceX Corp. with the ultimate aim of populating planets and starting interplanetary travel.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover, and Soichi Noguchi from Japan were sent into orbit aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida’s Cape Canaveral.
This is the second time SpaceX is working with NASA to send a crewed mission, in May this year, SpaceX launched two NASA astronauts into ISS. That trip marked the first time NASA astronauts were sent to space from American soil in almost 9 years.
This mission marks a crucial milestone in the development of the private space industry, in which more business and tourism opportunities will be provided by private sector companies.