SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top is seen after sunset at Launch Complex 39A prior to the launch of the Crew 7 mission.

Joel Kowsky/NASA

SpaceX flew four people to the International Space Station from Florida, while Elon Musk’s company launches its 11th human spaceflight mission to date.

Known as Crew-7, the mission for NASA will take the group to the space station for a six-month stay in orbit. The mission is SpaceX’s sixth operational crew launch for NASA to date and the first of the additional missions the agency has assigned to SpaceX.

Crew-7 took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the early hours of Saturday morning and began a nearly day-long journey to the ISS.

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The mission brings the number of astronauts launched by SpaceX since its first manned launch in May 2020 to 42, including both government and private missions.

Crew-7 consists of NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli as commander, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen of Denmark as pilot, and astronaut Satoshi Furukawa of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov as mission specialists.

(From left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa in SpaceX spacesuits wave as they prepare to board of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for launch of the Crew-7 mission, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on August 26, 2023.

Gregg Newton | AFP | Getty Images

SpaceX launched the astronauts in its Crew Dragon capsule called Endurance on a Falcon 9 rocket. Both the rocket and capsule are reusable, with the Endurance already on its third mission.

The company is under contract for 14 missions under NASA’s Commercial Crew program.

SpaceX developed its Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of the NASA program and refined its Falcon 9 rocket, competing with Boeing’s Starliner capsule. The Boeing capsule remains in development, however, as costly delays mean the launch of Starliner flights begins years behind schedule.

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