Four astronauts have started their journey from Florida in the United States to the International Space Station (ISS).
According to reports, this is the first crew launch from US soil this year.
They should arrive at the space station on Saturday to begin the six-month duty tour.
The lift-off took place at 05:49 EDT (09:49 GMT; 10:49 BST).
The arriving team is calling it a direct handover of the previous Dragon Crew (Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Sochi Noguchi, and Shannon Walker), who are expected to arrive in the next week.
We are now in the age of commercial American crew launches. A service purchased from the SpaceX space station and the transport of astronauts the US Space Agency (NASA).
The California-based company runs the launch-day process at the Kennedy Space Center, prepares vehicles, and sits in orbit with controllers in Florida and at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne.
Americans Shane Kimbrough and Megan MacArthur, Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, and Japanese fisherman Akihiko Hoshide climbed on top of a Falcon 9 rocket and orbited a Dragon capsule.
The arrival of new crews to the ISS, though brief, will bring a complement of ships powered by high-flying outposts for 11 people.
The Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are central to NASA’s goal of ending the agency’s sole reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the station aboard Soyuz spacecraft at up to $90 million a seat.
The Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule used on Friday which has flown earlier. The capsule, dubbed Endeavor, was used in the historic Demo-2 mission last May. In the nine years since the space shuttles retired in 2011, U.S. astronauts have begun their journey from U.S. soil for the first time.
The rocket booster on this latest flight was used to send Mike Hopkins and his team in November.
Hopkins and colleagues named SpaceX / NASA “Crew-1”. Kimbrough command “Crew-2”.
From a European perspective, Friday’s launch is significant. Thomas Pesquet was the first astronaut from the European Space Agency (ESA) to embark on a commercial crew rotation mission.
“It’s an important start because we flew Thomas today but then we flew Matthias Maurer to Falk and then the next year we came back to Kennedy to fly Samantha Christoforetti.
Frank de Winne, a former space station commander and Esha’s current ISS program manager said that this is a really great time for Esha.