SpaceX's human launch program was developed under the Commercial Crew program, which saw NASA select two private companies to build astronaut launch systems for carrying astronauts to the ISS from USA soil.
Boeing and SpaceX were selected by NASA in September 2014 to develop transportation systems meant to transfer crew from the United States to the ISS. Here's what you need to know about the launch. They will spend the next six months on board the space station, spending time conducting microgravity studies and other scientific research. The mission landed back on Earth on water, which was also the first. In May, there was a demonstration mission, with two NASA astronauts - Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley - aboard.
The crewed flight will be the second for SpaceX's Dragon capsule and the first since NASA officially certified the small spacecraft to carry people.
The ride to the space station, an orbiting laboratory some 400km above Earth, was originally scheduled to begin on Saturday.
Previously, it had been hiring seats on Russian space craft, which can cost $90 million.
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When is the launch? It kicks off what NASA hopes will be a long series of crew rotations between the US and the space station, after years of delay. He was replaced in his official duties at Kennedy Space Center by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.
He says since he was a young boy he has been fascinated with astronauts and space exploration.
Even though the weather forecast is now indicating a 50% risk of flight rule violation, that also leaves a 50% chance for favorable conditions at the required time. "I would also like to thank Nasa and SpaceX for their tremendous effort to make this happen".
The mission was to launch on November 14 initially, but was impeded by unfavourable weather conditions.
If Sunday's launch is delayed, there is a backup opportunity on Wednesday.
Once seated in the Teslas, the astronauts exchanged high-fives and hand embraces with their children and spouses, who huddled at the open auto windows for a farewell.
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The mission's commander Colonel Hopkins thanked SpaceX staff who made the launch possible.
This is the first time that astronauts have launched to space during a regular operational NASA mission since the end of the Shuttle program in 2011.
Background: Walker holds bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in physics, all from Rice University.
- Soichi Noguchi, 55, an astronaut with JAXA, the Japanese space agency, will be making his third trip to space.
"That was one heck of a ride", astronaut Mike Hopkins said from Crew Dragon to SpaceX mission control about an hour after liftoff. She worked as a flight controller at NASA's Johnson Space Center and then behind the scenes in the space station program, before becoming an astronaut in 2004. "Now it is again the "hottest", most advanced, space center in the world, by far!" he tweeted Sunday evening.
He will not be the first Black astronaut aboard the station.
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"And now it's time for us to do our part, Crew 1 for all", Hopkins said.