The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket have launched into the International Space Station, taking astronauts from the United States, Japan, Russia, and Denmark.
The Dragon spacecraft carried by a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday lifted off 3.27am local time (8.27am BST) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Daily Mail reports.
The crew is expected to reach their destination on Sunday to replace four astronauts living there since March.
This, is the first U.S. launch where every spacecraft seat, was occupied by a different country as NASA had always included two or three of its own on its SpaceX taxi flights
It is the first space mission for both NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and Russian Konstantin Borisov.
Astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli said, “We may have four crew members on board from four different nations… but we’re a united team with a common mission.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. One of the things I’m most excited about is looking back at our beautiful planet.
“Everyone who I’ve talked to who has flown already has said that was a life-changing perspective and also floating around in space, it seems really fun,” the 40-year-old American added.
NASA pays SpaceX for the taxi service as part of a commercial crew program that it put in place to reduce dependency on Russian rockets for astronaut transport after the space shuttle programme ended in 2011.