USA astronatus board space station on landmark SpaceX mission

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"It's great to get the United States back in the crewed launch business and we're just really glad to be on board this magnificent complex", replied Hurley.

A rocket ship on Saturday successfully blasted off with two NASA astronauts from the USA state of Florida on their way to International Space Station (ISS), marking the beginning of new age in commercial space travel. The spacecraft's solar panels gradually decay over time, and the worry is that if it is docked too long, the panels would not be able to generate enough power for a safe reentry to Earth's atmosphere.

The Crew Dragon's passengers of NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are expected to stay onboard the ISS for about four months.

"This is the first time in human history @NASA_Astronauts have entered the @Space_Station from a commercially-made spacecraft", Nasa tweeted.

The launch on Saturday by SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, represented another milestone for the reusable rockets it pioneered to make spaceflight less costly and more frequent. At 1:22 p.m. EDT, the two astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, disembarked the Crew Dragon, exchanging handshakes and hugs with the three astronauts already on the space station.

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But I am much more optimistic about that than I was. "He should have acted, he was too weak to do so". Mr Johnson faced fresh cross-party calls for Mr Cummings to go in light of the police statement.

The blastoff assumes significance as it marks the launch of humans into orbit from U.S. soil for the first time in almost one decade.

In 2014 the two companies signed multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA's Commercial Crew Program to finish developing their astronaut taxis and fly six operational crewed missions to and from the orbiting laboratory. Trump said, according to the White House.

Musk took potshots at Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin, who had said in the past that the United States may be forced to "deliver its astronauts to the International Space Station by using a trampoline". "It's been 18 years working towards this goal, so it's hard to believe that it's happened", Musk said during a post-launch press conference.

In 2014, Rogozin, who was then the deputy prime minister of Russian Federation, had mocked the United States' inability to pursue a manned space flight programme, after Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow, including on some space industries. "Looking forward to further cooperation!"

The successful mission of SpaceX's Crew Dragon featured one of its biggest innovations, its automated docking system. "Congratulations to #NASA and #SpaceX for historic first launch of manned mission after 2011".

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