Nov 10, 2021 - Science

SpaceX launches crew of 4 astronauts to International Space Station

A Falcon 9 rocket launches from Florida.

The Falcon 9 rocket takes flight. Photo: NASA TV/SpaceX

Four astronauts took off for the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX capsule Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The launch marks yet another successful SpaceX-crewed flight to orbit and one that will help staff the space station for NASA.

Driving the news: The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the four new crew members took flight at 9:03p.m. ET on Wednesday.

  • The Dragon capsule is carrying NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron alongside European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer.
  • The crew is expected to dock with the space station on Thursday at about 7:10p.m. ET.
  • SpaceX successfully returned a different crew of astronauts to Earth from the space station earlier this week.

The big picture: Boeing is also planning to start flying people to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA at some point in the not-too-distant future.

  • The company is expected to launch a repeat of an uncrewed test of its Starliner capsule in the first half of 2022, with a crewed test expected to fly sometime after that.
Go deeper