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ELON MUSK’S SPACEX BLASTS OFF WITH 2 ASTRONAUTS

A rocket ship built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company thundered away from Earth with two Americans on Saturday (May 31, 2020 in Manila) and ushered in a new era in commercial space travel and putting the United States back in the business of launching astronauts into orbit from home soil for the first time in nearly a decade, Marcia Dunn reported for the Associated Press (AP).


NASA’s Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken rode skyward aboard a white-and-black, bullet-shaped Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, lifting off at 3:22 p.m. from the same launch pad used to send Apollo crews to the moon a half-century ago. Minutes later, they slipped safely into orbit.

"Let’s light this candle,” Hurley said just before ignition, borrowing the historic words used by Alan Shepard on America’s first human spaceflight, in 1961.

The two men are scheduled to arrive Sunday at the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, for a stay of up to four months, after which they will come home with a Right Stuff-style splashdown at sea, something the world hasn’t witnessed since the 1970s.

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