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SpaceX launches 4 astronauts for NASA after private flight

SpaceX Crew Launch
Posted at 6:48 AM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 06:48:18-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA, less than two days after completing a flight chartered by millionaires.

The Falcon rocket blasted off before dawn Wednesday from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

The crew includes the first Black woman making a long-term spaceflight, NASA's Jessica Watkins.

SpaceX Crew Launch
SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts, from left, pilot Bob Hines, mission specialist Jessica Watkins, commander Kjell Lindgren, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, of Italy, wave as they leave the Operations and Checkout Building for a trip to Launch Complex 39-A Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The four astronauts will fly to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Also on board: the European Space Agency's lone female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy.

It's the first time NASA has sent up a crew comprised equally of men and women.

They should reach the space station Wednesday night.