SpaceX launched its first operational human mission for NASA on Sunday, rocketing a full crew of four astronauts into orbit.
NASA astronaut Shannon Walker became the first woman ever to fly in a commercial spacecraft.
Soichi Noguchi, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, has now flown on three different launch systems.
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On Sunday evening, a SpaceX rocket roared to life, spewed fire through the dark, and carried the company's first operational human mission for NASA into orbit. The crew consists of three NASA astronauts — Shannon Walker, Mike Hopkins, and Victor Glover — as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
The astronauts' Crew Dragon spaceship is set to dock to the International Space Station on Monday night, where NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins and two Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, will be waiting to greet them.
The mission, called Crew-1, calls for the astronauts to stay on the ISS for the standard six months. During that time, they'll conduct spacewalks, do science experiments, and work on regular station maintenance. Since humans haven't launched from US soil since the Space Shuttle Program — which flew missions that lasted just a couple weeks — this will be the longest human spaceflight in NASA's history.
Meet the crew.
Mike Hopkins, commander