The spacecraft lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 3:22 PM ET, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft for an historic flight to the International Space Station.
“Let’s light this candle,” Hurley said just before liftoff. Once the rocket launched, the crew inside the ground station broke into applause.
A member of the ground crew later said, “I am not going to celebrate until Bob and Doug are back home safely.”
This demo mission marked the first U.S. manned spaceflight since the 2011 end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. It’s also the first private, commercially built manned spaceflight. (The Dragon spacecraft is designed to eventually carry private passengers into orbit, the ISS or beyond).
A previously planned launch was postponed Wednesday due to weather concerns.
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