NASA and SpaceX successfully launch astronauts from three different agencies to the International Space Station using a recycled rocket and capsule for the first time

SpaceX and NASA launched four astronauts from three different space agencies to the International Space Station this morning using a recycled capsule and rocket.

The astronauts from the US, Japan and France, blasted off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5.49am EST (10:49 BST) on Friday.

About ten minutes later, travelling at about 10,000 miles per hour, SpaceX Falcon 9 second stage delivered the Crew Dragon and its astronauts into a nominal orbit.

SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a pad, so it can be reused again in a future mission.

Dragon is carrying NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Akihiko Hoshide, and the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Thomas Pesquet, who is French.

At about 6.02am EST (11:02 BST) the Dragon capsule, containing the four astronauts, separated from the Falcon 9 second stage and began its journey to the space station.

‘It is glad to be back in space from all of us and we will send our regards to Crew-1 when we get there,’ said Kimbrough.

They are currently orbiting the Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour and will orbit the Earth over the next 23 hours catching up with the ISS before docking.

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Source: Daily Mail