Saturday marked the first time in history that a commercial aerospace company has carried humans into Earth’s orbit.
Two veteran astronauts, Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley, took flight with the goal of riding for about 19 hours before arriving at the International Space Station on Sunday, where they plan to stay for the next four months. NASA has invested over $3 billion in this SpaceX attempt.
The mission, which took place at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and officially began at 3:23 p.m., was the first launch of astronauts from United States soil in nine years.
A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Saturday, May 30, 2020. —David J. Philip/AP Photo Two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. —NASA via AP For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted toward orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. —David J. Phillip/AP Photo The American flag and the rocket coexist. —David J. Phillip/AP Photo The rocket lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center. —John Raoux/AP Photo In this still image taken from NASA TV, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, takes flight Saturday. —NASA TV/AFP via Getty Images The mission, dubbed “Demo-2,” is the final test flight before NASA certifies the SpaceX spacecraft for regular crewed missions. —NASA TV/AFP via Getty Images Karen Pence, US Vice President Mike Pence and US President Donald Trump watch the SpaceX launch. —Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images US President Donald Trump, US Vice President Mike Pence, and Karen Pence arrive to attend the SpaceX launch. —Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sits at Launch Complex 39A. —Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images A look at an image made from video via NASA-TV. —NASA via AP Two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. —NASA via AP Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are strapped in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. —NASA TV/AFP via Getty Images In this still image taken from NASA TV, the crew access arm retracts from SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. —AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump waves as he arrives on scene. —Alex Brandon/AP Photo Air Force 2, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence, arrives at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. —Saul Martinez/Getty Images NASA astronaut Robert Behnken gives the thumbs-up as walks out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. —John Raoux/AP Photo NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken are ready. —John Raoux/AP Photo Sitting in a Tesla vehicle, NASA astronaut Doug Hurley says goodbye to his wife, Karen Nyberg, and son, Jack. —Joe Raedle/Getty Images President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One. —Alex Brandon/AP Photo