The United States opened a new chapter in its grand adventure in space Saturday, when a SpaceX rocket blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying two astronauts to orbit for the first time from United States soil in nearly a decade.
It was a historic moment for SpaceX, which became the first private corporation to launch people into orbit, and for NASA, which has struggled to regain its footing after retiring the Space Shuttle in 2011, leaving the U.S. no option but to rely on Russia to ferry its astronauts to space for as much as $90 million a seat.
Both President Trump and Vice President Pence, the chair of the National Space Council, were in attendance to mark a new era of space flight.
The flight was the the fulfillment of a risky bet by NASA under the Obama administration to entrust the private sector to fly astronauts.
Bob Behnken & Doug Hurley Astronauts onboard SpaceX Crew dragon Capsule