- The two NASA astronauts onboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley
- The Falcon 9 booster of SpaceX landed successfully on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship
- This is the first time ever that SpaceX launched NASA astronauts into orbit
NASA and SpaceX made history on Saturday with the Falcon 9’s launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are the two NASA astronauts on-board the SpaceX rocket that lifted off on Saturday creating history for the US. This is the first private space vehicle that took astronauts into space.
“We have liftoff. History is made as @NASA_Astronauts launch from @NASAKennedy for the first time in nine years on the @SpaceX Crew Dragon,” tweeted NASA soon after the lift-off.
At the time of writing, the Crew Dragon separated successfully from Falcon 9’s second stage and were on their way to the International Space Station with Behnken and Doug. The autonomous docking at the International Space Station which will occur at 10:30 am EDT (8 pm IST) on Sunday.
Another good news for SpaceX was that the Falcon 9 booster landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship successfully.
“I’ve heard that rumble before, but it’s a whole different feeling when you’ve got your own team on that rocket. They are our team. They are America’s team. This is Launch America.” Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator said soon after the lift-off.
“For the first time in 9 years, we have now launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. I’m so proud of the NASA and SpaceX team for making this moment possible,” Bridenstine added later