NASA makes history with SpaceX launch – watch lift-off

NASA made history today when two astronauts jetted off to the International Space Station (ISS).

Saturday, 30th May 2020, 9:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th May 2020, 9:26 pm

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are the central figures of the American space agency’s first manned mission since 2011.

The mission – known as ‘Demo-2’ – is also notable for being the first undertaken by NASA to make use of a rocket and capsule system provided by a private company.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

SpaceX – the American aerospace firm founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk – is providing the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule used to transport the astronauts.

It is the first time the company has launched a crew into space.

Hurley and Behnken’s journey into space took around 10 minutes.

Once in orbit, the Crew Dragon capsule will separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket and travel at around 17,000mph before being in position to dock with the ISS just under 24 hours later.

Astronaut Douglas Hurley before the launch. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls/PA Wire.