NASA and the US private company SpaceX have sent four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Cape Canaveral space base in Florida on Sunday.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese space agency cosmonaut Soichi Noguchi took off at 7:27 p.m. local time aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will remain in orbit for 27 hours until arriving to their destination, where they will remain working for six months.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has celebrated this “great launch” with a message on his Twitter account and has assured that NASA “is once again the most cutting-edge and advanced space center in the world”, after it was a “disaster” before his arrival at the White House.
“A great launch! NASA was a disaster when we took over. It is now again the most ‘cutting edge’ and most advanced space center in the world by far!” He wrote.
It is the second spacecraft sent into space by a private company, after astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley traveled to the ISS in May.
The Demo-2 mission was the first manned launch from the US shores in nearly a decade and the first time that a private company, rather than a government space agency, took over the operation.
In 2011, NASA retired all its shuttles and since then, both American and foreign astronauts had to use Russian rockets to travel to the International Space Station.