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SpaceX launches ‘Crew 4’ astronauts on flight to space station -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and four astronauts are ready for liftoff. They will embark on a six month expedition to the International Space Station at Cape Canaveral (Florida), U.S.A. April 26th, 2022. REUTERS/Joe Skipper


CAPE CANAVERAL FL. (Reuters) –Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has launched four astronauts for NASA to fly to the International Space Station. They include a doctor who became a spacewalker, and a geologist with a focus on Martian landslides.

SpaceX launched with its four-member crew from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The launch vehicle consisted of a Falcon 9 rocket and a Crew Dragon capsule.

All goes well and the astronauts from the United States and an Italian crewmate of the European Space Agency will arrive at the station around 8:30 p.m. EDT Thursday to start a six month science mission that orbits approximately 250 miles (405 km) above Earth.

NASA live-broadcast the liftoff. The webcast showed the Falcon 9 as it climbed from the launch platform. Nine Merlin engines burst into flames in the atmosphere, creating billowing clouds of smoke and an orange fireball.

Minutes prior to launch, four astronauts could be seen strapped in to the cabin and relaxing in their white-and-black spacesuits.

Crew 4 is NASA’s fourth full-fledged ISS mission. This was the first SpaceX launch since Musk (NASDAQ:) Inc) founded SpaceX, a private rocket company. In 2020, the US space agency astronauts were flying on SpaceX.

SpaceX launched six human spaceflights in total over the last two years.