SpaceX successfully launches first manned craft

Andre Bennett
May 30, 2020 - 3:47 pm
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches into space with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Saul Martinez/Getty Images

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl. (KYW Newsradio) — For the first time in history, a privately owned company has launched a manned spacecraft.

SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon-9 rocket Saturday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center, despite initial concerns over weather. 

It was the second attempt at launch for SpaceX and NASA. Wednesday's original planned launch was scrubbed because of poor weather.

The ship is crewed by NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, and is set to dock at International Space Station Sunday after a projected 19-hour journey.

The Falcon-9 craft that carried the Crew Dragon into orbit successfully landed back on Earth just over 10 minutes after launch. The Crew Dragon reached orbit shortly after.

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The flight ushers in a new era in commercial space travel and marks the first time NASA has launched astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade.

Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts to and from the space station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.