(TargetLiberty.org) – Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk missed the groundbreaking launch of one of his SpaceX rockets on Sunday night – but Vice President Pence stood in for him to watch four astronauts set off on a six-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The November 15 launch was the first time NASA has used a commercial rocket to send astronauts to the ISS. It’s a major step forward for the agency, which for years, has relied on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to launch its crews. SpaceX’s new CrewDragon capsule marks the return to an American launch capability. It’s also far more modern than the Soyuz, whose basic design is 54 years old, and can lift four astronauts compared to Soyuz’s three.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) November 16, 2020
Musk is suffering from a suspected case of coronavirus, and was advised not to attend the launch. Instead, Vice President and Mrs. Pence watched with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as the 550-ton rocket lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Calling it “a historic night,” Pence continued by predicting “a new era of American leadership in human space exploration.”
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