SpaceX Gives NASA Astronauts a Ride to the Space Station in First Commercial Crew Launch

Featured Image: Crew-1 and the SpaceX Falcon 9 leave a streak through the evening sky. (Image credit: Next Horizons Spaceflight/Steven Keagle)

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The electricity of the day could be heard in the voices of the announcers on SpaceX and NASA’s official live feed, seen in the faces of the astronauts, and heard in the voices of the gathered launch media. The buildup of activity throughout the day paid off as SpaceX made history once again, launching Crew-1 the first commercial crew delivery mission ever.

Launch occurred from the storied LC-39A at 7:27 pm EST (0027 UTC) aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 booster 1061B. The launch was nominal and landing of the booster on the drone ship Just Read the Instructions occurred as scheduled. The Resilience spacecraft was placed in a nominal orbit and began the process of catching up to the ISS. Docking is scheduled to occur around 11 pm EST (0400 UTC). This historical launch is the first Commercial Crew mission and is scheduled to last 6 months.

The Crew

The Commander of this crew is Michael Hopkins. He has been an astronaut since 2009 and has served in the US Air Force since 1992, transferring to the US Space Force during this mission. This is his second spaceflight and first aboard an American spacecraft.

Mike Hopkins (Image credit: NASA)

Victor Glover is the pilot for this mission. He has been an astronaut since 2013 and this is his first spaceflight. His flight to the ISS marks the first visit by an African American since the end of the Space Shuttle in 2011.

Victor Glover (Image credit: NASA)

Shannon Walker is the Mission Specialist for Expedition 64/65. This is her second expedition to the ISS. She is the first woman to fly on board a commercially operated space vehicle.

Shannon Walker (Image credit: NASA)

Soichi Noguchi is a Japanese astronaut and JAXA engineer. This is his third spaceflight and will make him one of only three people to fly on three different classes of space vehicle (Wally Schirra and John Young are the other two).

Japanese Astronaut Soichi Noguchi looks stern in this publicity photo. (Image credit: NASA)

Here’s a gallery of all the amazing shots we got this beautiful launch day! (If you check back after remote pickup, there will be some amazing engine shots and pad shots!)

We at Next Horizons Spaceflight send out congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on a job outstandingly done! Continue to follow @NextHorizonsSF on Twitter and this website for all of your Space Coast space flight news!