A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ferried a multinational crew into orbit at the break of dawn Friday with a spectacular sky-lighting launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, dazzling early risers along the East Coast with a flawless start to a planned six-month expedition on the International Space Station.
After a one-day delay to wait for improved conditions in the offshore abort zone, SpaceX and NASA launched four astronauts at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT) Friday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spaceship from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts docked with the International Space Station at 5:08 a.m. EDT (0908 GMT) Saturday for a planned six-month mission.
Preparations for the planned liftoff Thursday of a SpaceX Dragon capsule with a four-person crew to the International Space Station cleared another readiness review Tuesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but officials are tracking marginal wind and sea conditions in downrange abort zones in the Atlantic Ocean that could force a launch delay.
After completing a dress rehearsal for launch day over the weekend, the four astronauts gearing up for liftoff Thursday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket are in good spirits and spending time with their families in Florida before leaving the planet for a six-month expedition on the International Space Station. Forecasters with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predict an 80% chance of acceptable weather for launch early Thursday.