SpaceX Crew-2 has successfully launched and has sent four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
The flight – the first with three men and one woman – took off at 10:50 am GMT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The start window had opened on Thursday, but the start had to be postponed until Friday due to the poor conditions.
But the Crew Dragon capsule is now on its way to the ISS, strapped into SpaceX’s iconic Falcon 9 rocket.
The crew is expected to reach the space station early on Saturday after a flight of almost 24 hours, which orbits around 400 km above the earth.
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The mission will be the first crew to be put into orbit by a rocket booster recycled from a previous spaceflight.
It is a joint venture between Elon Musk’s company, NASA and other space agencies.
The mission is also the third crewed flight launched into orbit as part of NASA’s fledgling public-private partnership with SpaceX.
The first was a test mission that put only two astronauts into orbit last May.
The crew consists of astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA.
Thomas Pesquet (ESA) is accompanied by Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur (both NASA) and Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA).
The mission will conduct a series of scientific experiments in space.
These include human research, biology, fluid dynamics, materials science and environmental science.
After successfully docking with the space station, the crew 2 astronauts of Expedition 65 will join the orbit outpost, including the crew 1 astronauts still on board.
After approximately six months, Dragon and her Crew-2 astronauts will be leaving the ISS on October 31 at the earliest to return to Earth and splash in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.
It is Mr Pesquet’s second voyage to the ISS and for the last month of his stay he will be the commander of the ISS.
The Crew 1 astronauts are scheduled to return in late April or early May.
The Crew Dragon capsule has already flown to the ISS three times, two of which were test flights.
The Falcon 9 successfully started the Crew 1 mission last May.
The astronauts with helmets, clad in their custom-made white flight suits and black boots, left the space center building just over three hours before take-off time, waving to the audience and saying goodbye to their loved ones.
A caravan of SUVs from Musk’s electric car maker Tesla Inc then drove them to Launch Complex 39A, the rocket pad built in the 1960s and famous as the launch site for the Apollo 11 flight to the moon.
“There’s nothing quite like it when you look out the window and see a spaceship prepare and find that you’re going to be riding on it in a few days,” McArthur told reporters after arriving at the Kennedy Space Center last week.