December 4, 2020

Photos: Four astronauts launch aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket


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These images show the liftoff of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft on top of a 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying four astronauts on an expedition to the International Space Station.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from pad 39A at 7:27:17 p.m. EST on Nov. 15 (0027:17 GMT on Nov. 16) with NASA commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, mission specialist Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

The Falcon 9 launcher streaked into a clear evening sky, taking aim on the International Space Station as it flew northeast from Florida’s Space Coast powered by nine Merlin 1D engines generating 1.7 million pounds of ground-shaking thrust.

The mission, known as Crew-1, marked the first operational crew rotation flight to the space station with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket.

After a 27-and-a-half hour pursuit, the Crew Dragon Resilience spaceship autonomously docked with the space station at 11:01 p.m. EST on Nov. 16 (0401 GMT on Nov. 17). A few hours later, Hopkins and his crewmates floated into the space station to join three crew members already living aboard the orbiting research lab.

Read our full story for more details on the mission.

NASA astronauts Shannon Walker and Mike Hopkins walk across the crew access arm leading to the Crew Dragon capsule at pad 39A. Credit: SpaceX
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and NASA astronaut Victor Glover walk across the crew access arm leading to the Crew Dragon capsule at pad 39A. Credit: SpaceX
The Crew-1 astronauts strapped into their seats before launch. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronaut Victor Glover and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi are seen on the fixed service structure at pad 39A before boarding the Crew Dragon. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft rockets off pad 39A atop a 215-foot-tall Falcon 9 launcher. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: SpaceX

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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