SpaceX launches crew of astronauts on space station mission

<p><em>(Photo from Anadolu) </em></p>

(Photo from Anadolu) 

ANKARA – SpaceX and NASA on Thursday launched a crew of astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station.

SpaceX launched four astronauts, including the first person from the Arab world going up for an extended monthslong stay. The Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Kennedy Space Center shortly after midnight.

The Crew-6 launch carried two NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Warren Hoburg, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who serves as mission specialists for a space station science expedition, according to NASA.

They are expected to spend some six months on board the orbiting laboratory, carrying out science experiments and maintaining the two-decade-old station.

This is the sixth crew rotation mission using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting laboratory as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. This Dragon is named Endeavour.

The first attempt to launch them was called off Monday at the last minute because of a clogged filter in the engine ignition system. (Anadolu)