Let’s light this candle: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched in Florida marking a historic moment

SpaceX, the private rocket company owned by tech-giant Elon Musk, launched two Americans into orbit from Florida on Saturdaymarking the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from US soil in nine years. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT).

Spacecraft launched by SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off from launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 30, 2020.

(Photograph:AFP)

Hurley and Bob Behnken

 NASA astronauts Hurley and Bob Behnken are a part of the extended stay at the International Space Station on the SpaceX Demo-2 mission.

(Photograph:AFP)

Booster rock separated itself after launch

Minutes after launch, the first-stage booster rocket of the Falcon 9 separated from the upper second-stage rocket and flew itself back to Earth to descend safely onto a landing platform floating in the Atlantic.

(Photograph:AFP)

Let’s light this candle

Just before liftoff, Hurley said, “SpaceX, we’re going for launch. Let’s light this candle,” paraphrasing the famous comment uttered on the launch pad in 1961 by Alan Shepard, the first American flown into space.

(Photograph:AFP)

Trump attended the launch

“It's incredible, the power, the technology,” said U.S. President Donald Trump, who was at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida for the launch. “That was a beautiful sight to see.”

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Astronauts' safety is priority

"I'm breathing a sigh of relief, but I will also tell you I'm not gonna celebrate until Bob and Doug are home safely," NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said. 

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Another milestone

For Elon Musk, the Founder of SpaceX, the launch represents another milestone for the reusable rockets his company pioneered to make spaceflight less costly and more frequent. 

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Americans became proud spectators

People line the A.Max Brewer Causeway to watch the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida May 30, 2020 in Titusville, Florida.

(Photograph:AFP)

US Vice President

US Vice President was also present with US President Donald Trump at the launch ceremony.

(Photograph:AFP)

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