Faizel Patel – 23/04/2021
SpaceX launched four astronauts toward orbit on Friday using a recycled rocket and capsule.
This is the third crew flight in less than a year for South African born Elon Musk’s rapidly expanding company.
The Associated Press (AP) reports the astronauts from the U.S., Japan and France should reach the International Space Station (ISS) early Saturday morning, following a 23-hour ride in the same Dragon capsule used by SpaceX’s debut crew last May.
According to AP, the astronauts are expected to spend six months at the orbiting lab.
This is first time SpaceX reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA, after years of proving the capability on station supply runs.
The rocket was used last November on the company’s second astronaut flight.
Embracing the trend, spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough and his crew Megan McArthur, Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and France’s Thomas Pesquet weeks ago wrote their initials in the rocket’s soot, hoping to start a tradition.