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SpaceX and NASA Take Off to Space Station

Mission on Crew Dragon space capsule created by Elon Musk's company includes NASA and JAXA astronauts.
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NASA and SpaceX made a successful lift off on Sunday evening of a spacecraft carrying astronauts from the U.S. and Japan for travel to the International Space Station -- marking the start of a major space mission that's been years in the making.

The mission on the Crew Dragon -- a product of Telsa  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report honcho Elon Musk's SpaceX company -- took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at around 7:27 p.m. ET, and is being live-streamed.

NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, are aboard the spacecraft. They will stay at the space station for a half year.

NASA said earlier Sunday that the launch was moved up by a day because of onshore winds, and so the space agency and SpaceX would be able recover a "first stage" booster. The booster, said NASA, is planned for reuse in the launch of the Crew-2 mission next year.

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By 11 p.m. ET on Monday, the Crew Dragon is expected to dock on the space station.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket were used in the launch, following other earlier trials and missions.

Over the summer, astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken made a trip in the spacecraft and returned on Aug. 2, after a May 31 hook up with the space station. That mission was widely seen as a major step in the emerging commercial partnership with the U.S. aeronautics and space agency and companies such as SpaceX and Boeing  (BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report.

That earlier trip followed SpaceX's previous mission of docking on the space station using an unmanned Crew Dragon spacecraft.