SpaceX sent Friday four NASA astronauts into space aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The mission was the third crewed mission to date for SpaceX. The Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to dock early Saturday morning.
The mission included NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Akihiko Hoshide from Japan. The astronauts will spend six months at the International Space Station.
SpaceX previously flew the spacecraft, named “Endeavour,” was previously used to carry astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the space station in May 2020.
The mission launched around 6 a.m. ET from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX also successfully landed the first-stage rocket booster, helping continue to prove the benefits of reusable rockets.
“We do intend to fly the Falcon 9 booster until we see some kind of failure… we’re learning a lot about reusability,” SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said during a press conference.
The launch marked the third crewed flight for. SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 mission in May was the first crewed launch of a Crew Dragon capsule.