SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket and capsule

The SpaceX company has launched a capsule designed to carry people from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to space.

Elon Musk, the company founder said this could be the first step towards opening space travel to commercial customers.

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 (ISS) on Sunday.

For the company, this mission is a key milestone in its short history. Mr Musk, a technology entrepreneur and engineer, set up the organisation with the specific intention of taking people into space.

“It’s been 17 years to get to this point, from 2002 to now. To be frank, I’m a little emotionally exhausted because it was super stressful,” he told reporter after the launch.

“Our focus has been on serving Nasa’s needs but once Dragon is in regular operation, I think we will seek commercial customers of which the Nasa administrator, and Nasa in general, has been very supportive.”

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