SpaceX launches 4 astronauts on reused capsule, rocket to International Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Four astronauts have lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX flight to the International Space Station.

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According to WFTV, two NASA astronauts, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide; and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet boarded the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft early Friday ahead of the 5:49 a.m. Falcon 9 rocket launch. They are expected to arrive at the ISS on Saturday morning and stay for six months, The Associated Press reported.

This marks the first time SpaceX has reused a rocket and capsule for a crew launch, according to the AP. The company used the capsule for its first crew launch in May, and the rocket was used in November, according to the news agency.

Friday’s crew launch, the company’s third, originally had been scheduled for Thursday but was delayed by poor weather, the AP reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.