SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Thursday, including the first person from the Arab world to travel for an extended month-long stay.
The Falcon rocket blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center just after midnight, lighting up the night sky as it headed toward the East Coast.
About 80 spectators from the United Arab Emirates watched from the launch site as the astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi – the second emirati to fly into space – was taking off on its six-month mission.
Half a world away, in Dubai and elsewhere in the UAE, schools and offices were scheduled to broadcast the launch live.
Also aboard the Dragon capsule, which will arrive at the space station on Friday: NASA’s Stephen Bowen, a retired Navy diver who made three space shuttle flights, and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, a former research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and newcomer to space, and Andrei Fedyaev, retired from the Russian Air Force.
“Welcome to orbit,” SpaceX launch control radioed, noting that liftoff came four years after the capsule’s first orbital test flight. “If you’ve enjoyed the ride, don’t forget to give us five stars.”
Leave a Reply