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Wednesday's SpaceX crew launch marked 600 space travelers in 60 years

Posted at 4:49 AM, Nov 11, 2021

SpaceX sent four astronauts to the International Space Station Wednesday night.

The Falcon rocket blasted from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at around 9 p.m. and arrived in orbit less than 15 minutes later. It's expected to reach the International Space station within 24 hours.

The crew included three men and one woman.

"There's something about leaving everything we know behind — everything. Not just our friends and family or home, but even the planet," astronaut Thomas Mashburn said prior to the flight, which had faced delays.

Among the four crew members was Germany's Matthias Maurer, who became the 600th person to reach space in the last 60 years. NASA has deemed Maurer to be No. 600 based on his mission number.

The mission had been delayed due to weather and because one of the astronauts became ill last week. NASA says that astronaut has since recovered.

The crew of four replaces the four astronauts who returned to earth earlier this week. The new crew will be joining an American and two Russians at the International Space Station.