PHOTOS: SpaceX rocket ship blasts off into orbit with 2 Americans

National/World

A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has lifted off with two Americans on a history-making flight to the International Space Station. The spacecraft took off Saturday afternoon from the same launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, that was used during the Apollo missions to the moon a half-century ago.

The flight ushers in a new era in commercial space travel and marks the first time NASA has launched astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade.

Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts took and from the space station.

A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
In this image provided by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the company’s Dragon crew capsule onboard, is illuminated on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Despite more storms in the forecast, SpaceX pressed ahead Saturday in its historic attempt to launch astronauts for NASA, a first by a private company. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)
In this image provided by NASA, astronauts Robert Behnken, right, and Douglas Hurley, left, walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to to Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Despite more storms in the forecast, SpaceX pressed ahead Saturday in its historic attempt to launch astronauts for NASA, a first by a private company. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley ride past the Vehicle Assembly Building on the way to Launch Pad 39-A and a planned liftoff on the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the Crew Dragon Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Crew Dragon capsule, sits on Launch Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station scheduled to liftoff Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Storm clouds pass over the Vehicle Assembly Building as a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Crew Dragon capsule, sits on Launch Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station scheduled to liftoff Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts will blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts will blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
In this image made from video via NASA-TV, a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, prepare to lift off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. (NASA via AP)
In this image made from video via NASA-TV, a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, prepare to lift off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. (NASA via AP)
A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, prepare to lift off as the vehicle vents fuel, from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts will blast towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
President Donald Trump speaks with Vice President Mike Pence as they wait to view the SpaceX flight to the International Space Station, at Kennedy Space Center, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence walk on a platform as a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Crew Dragon capsule, sits on Launch Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in the background in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. The two astronauts are on the SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station scheduled to liftoff Saturday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump views the SpaceX flight to the International Space Station, at Kennedy Space Center, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

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