(NBC News) – Four astronauts aboard Crew Dragon are on their way to the International Space Station after an historic launch at Kennedy Space Center.
Liftoff of the Falcon-9 Sunday evening launched a new era in space travel.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in essence “charters” flights to the ISS on a rocket and in a capsule built by SpaceX, a private vendor.
NASA says outsourcing regular flights to the ISS will allow their own teams to focus on bigger missions, including a return to the moon and eventually missions to Mars.
Crew Dragon’s flight to the ISS will take close to 28 hours.
The three NASA astronauts and a fourth from Japan’s space agency on board will spend six months on the station.
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