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BLASTOFF: SpaceX launches two NASA astronauts into space in history-making ride

Despite weather, SpaceX presses ahead in historic 1st launch of astronauts
Despite weather, SpaceX presses ahead in historic 1st launch of astronauts
Posted at 8:55 AM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 21:10:16-04

A rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has lifted off with two Americans on a history-making flight to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft took off Saturday afternoon from the same launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, that was used during the Apollo missions to the moon a half-century ago.

It’s the first time a private company is launching NASA astronauts to space and the first time in nine years that American astronauts are departing from U.S. soil.

Since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA astronauts have been hitching rides to the International Space Station onboard Russian Soyuz rockets launched from Kazakhstan.

The astronauts undertaking this mission are Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley. The pair is expected to spend at least a month – and possibly as long as four months – on the International Space Station.

If you missed the launch, you can watch it in the video above.

After NASA declared Saturday's launch a success, President Donald Trump delivered a speech from the Kennedy Space Center, saying the launch proved that the "commercial space industry was the future" of space exploration.

"We'll be landing on Mars soon, and we'll soon have the greatest weapons the world has ever seen," Trump said.