SpaceX launches crew to International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NBC) – It was a successful launch Friday morning for SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket.

Shortly before 6:00 EST, four astronauts from three countries lifted off from Kennedy Space Center en route to the International Space Station.

It marks only the third crewed flight for Elon Musk’s space company and the first from SpaceX to make use of a previously-flown rocket booster and spacecraft.

Though the company has re-flown boosters and spacecraft dozens of times on satellite and cargo launches, this marked the first time the company reused hardware for a crewed mission.

The Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to reach the International Space Station Saturday morning.

Once there, the crew will spend six months on the ISS conducting experiments and maintenance.

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