MNA Science & Technology Desk: The demonstration of a new US system to get astronauts into orbit is under way. The SpaceX company has launched a capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida designed to carry people.
The mission is uncrewed for this flight, but if it goes well the American space agency is likely to approve the system for regular astronaut use from later this year.
Not since the retirement of the shuttles in 2011 has the US been able to put humans in orbit.
It’s had to pay to use Russian Soyuz vehicles instead.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule lifted off from Kennedy’s
historic Pad 39A at the precise planned time of 02:49 EST (07:49 GMT).
The 11-minute ascent put the Dragon on a path to rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday.