SpaceX Just Launched 1st Private Mission
A new milestone in the nascent era of commercial space travel lifted off from Florida on Friday morning with the Ax-1 private mission to the International Space Station
Nearly perfect weather and blue skies set the scene for the Falcon 9 rocket to blast off from the Kennedy Space Center at 11:17 a.m. ET/8:17 a.m. PT.
Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Allegria is in command of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule at the top of the vehicle.
SpaceX has sent astronauts from various national space agencies around the world to the ISS.
It also launched a private crew on an orbital trip for billionaire Jared Isaacman's Inspiration4 mission, but this is the first time a Crew Dragon carries paying passengers to the ISS.
The Ax-1 crew consists of Lopez-Allegria; American pilot and adventurer Larry Connor, investor and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe and Canadian entrepreneur and executive Mark Pathy.
The first stage of the Falcon 9, which has flown on four previous missions for SpaceX,