The Falcon rocket thundered into the night from Kennedy Space Center with three Americans and one Japanese, the second crew to be launched by SpaceX. The Dragon capsule on top — named Resilience by its crew in light of this year’s many challenges, most notably COVID-19 — reached orbit nine minutes later. It is due to reach the space station and remain there until spring.
Cheers and applause erupted at SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, after the capsule reached orbit and the first-stage booster landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic. Musk tweeted a single red heart.
At Kennedy, he was replaced by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. She wouldn’t give Musk’s whereabouts, but said he was “tied in very closely to the launch.”
The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The linkup occurred 262 miles (422 kilometers) above Idaho.
“By working together through these difficult times, you’ve inspired the nation, the world, and in no small part the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience,” Commander Mike Hopkins said right before liftoff.
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