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SpaceX rocket ship lifts off with 2 Americans

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By MARCIA DUNN

AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) --A rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk's SpaceX company has lifted off with two Americans on a history-making flight to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft took off Saturday afternoon from the same launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, that was used during the Apollo missions to the moon a half-century ago.

The flight ushers in a new era in commercial space travel and marks the first time NASA has launched astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade.

Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts took and from the space station.


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Despite more storms in the forecast, two NASA astronauts have climbed into their capsule for another attempt at a history-making ride into orbit aboard a rocket ship built by the SpaceX company.

Forecasters put the odds of acceptable conditions at 50-50 for Saturday afternoon's planned liftoff, the first launch of NASA astronauts from the U.S. in nearly a decade.

SpaceX and NASA are monitoring the weather not just at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, but all the way up the East Coast and across the North Atlantic.

The wind and waves need to be within limits in case the SpaceX Dragon crew capsule -- carrying Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken -- needs to make an emergency splashdown. They're headed to the International Space Station.


Many spectators came back to watch a second attempt to launch two NASA astronauts. Spectators along Florida's Space Coast on Saturday hoped that this time the weather would cooperate.

The first launch attempt on Wednesday was scrubbed with just 17 minutes left on the countdown clock. That disappointed thousands of spectators who had lined up in lawn chairs and under umbrellas and tents to view the first launch with astronauts from Florida in nine years, and the first one by a private company, SpaceX.

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