The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 7:27pm Eastern time (0027 GMT on Monday) and was set for rendezvous with the ISS some 27 hours later. The launch was originally scheduled for Saturday, but had to be postponed due to forecasts of gusty winds.

NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), are scheduled to spend six months on board the ISS.

This weekend’s launch has been praised by NASA as historic, signaling both the first time a commercially developed spaceship is being used on a regular ISS mission and the official return of the US capability for launching astronauts into space, lost with the closure of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

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