Elon Musk 'choked' with emotion after SpaceX launch

SpaceX has made history by becoming the first private company to send humans into orbit, ushering in a new era for commercial space travel.

This will be the first time NASA astronauts have launched from American soil since the shuttle program was axed in 2011.

SpaceX Founder Elon Musk was nearly in tears after Falcon 9 rocket successfully lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center carrying a Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have successfully reached orbit aboard a SpaceX spacecraft, the culmination of the better part of a decade of work. "First stage was a little rough".

Today's launch took place on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center after an aborted attempt this past Wednesday due to unfavorable weather conditions. At the 12-minute mark, the Dragon capsule separated from the second stage as it reached orbiting altitude.

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According to Nasa, the aim of the mission is to show SpaceX's ability to ferry astronauts to the space station and back safely. With Demo-2 safely in orbit, SpaceX's inaugural astronaut launch is already well on its way to replicating the extraordinary success of the ship's launch debut.

Behnken is the joint operations commander for the Demo-2 mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous, docking and undocking, as well as activities while the spacecraft is docked to the space station.

After a short stay on the ISS (the exact length of which has not yet been determined), the two astronauts will return to Earth in the Dragon and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean with parachutes.

But this is not the first time NASA astronauts will wear an Omega X-33 on a mission.

It is the final major step required by SpaceX's astronaut carrier, the Crew Dragon, to get certified by Nasa's Commercial Crew Programme for more long-term manned missions to space.

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