UPDATE @ June 1, 6.00AM | American NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have successfully arrived at the International Space Station, after a 19 hour journey from Earth.
The journey marks history for the US, after not having launched humans into space for almost a decade.
SpaceX owner Elon Musk was incredibly emotional following the launch yesterday, around 18 years since the company was created.
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— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 31, 2020
Congratulations Bob & Doug on docking & hatch opening on @Space_Station!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2020
This is the first time in human history @NASA_Astronauts have entered the @Space_Station from a commercially-made spacecraft. @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug have finally arrived to the orbiting laboratory in @SpaceX‘s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. pic.twitter.com/3t9Ogtpik4
— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
EARLIER @May 31, 6.00AM | SpaceX made history this morning after successfully launching American NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken into orbit.
The launch was originally scheduled for lift-off on Wednesday, but it was called off due to bad weather.
The pair are now on a 19-hour journey to the international space station aboard a rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company.
“It is absolutely our honour to be part of this huge effort to get the United States back in the launch business. We’ll talk to you from orbit,” Astronaut Hurley said minutes before launch.
The mission is a pretty special one, marking the first time a private company has ever sent astronauts into orbit.
Speaking from Kennedy Space Center, US President Donald Trump praised America’s “bold and triumphant return to the stars”.
“With this launch, the decades of lost years and little action are officially over,” he said.
“The names of Hurley and Behnken will stand in the history books alongside the likes of Mercury and Gemini astronaut Gus Grissom.”
— NASA (@NASA) May 30, 2020
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine admitted that the launch was a little nerve racking, but said it was an “amazing day”.
“Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth,” Mr Bridenstine said.
“The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars.
“I can breathe a sigh of relief but I can also tell you that I’m not going to celebrate until Bob and Doug are home safely.”
SpaceX Chief Engineer, Elon Musk, was overcome with emotion as the astronauts launched into space, declaring today as a “dream come true”.
“I think this is something that should really get people right in the heart – anyone who has a spirit of exploration,” Musk said.
“I am really quite overcome with emotion… it’s kind of hard to talk really.
“It’s been 18 years working towards this goal. It’s really hard to believe that it’s happened.
“This is a craft made by humans, for humans, I think it’s something humanity should be proud about occurring on this day.”
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 31, 2020