Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launches rocket carrying astronauts bound for the ISS: NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken lifted off at 3:22pm local time from the same launch pad used to send the Apollo astronauts to the Moon a half-century ago.
"Let's light this candle," Commander Doug Hurley said just before lift-off. Minutes later, they safely entered orbit. Despite more storms in the forecast, the company pressed ahead in its historic attempt to launch astronauts for NASA, a first by a private company.
It's NASA's second go at the launch. The first attempt three days ago was halted due to bad weather. Leading up to the successful launch, forecasters put the odds of success at just 50:50. The flight also ended a nine-year launch drought for NASA, the longest such hiatus in its history.
Ever since it retired the space shuttle in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take US astronauts to and from the space station. The two men are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Sunday for a stay of up to four months, after which they will return to Earth with a splashdown at sea.