March 2, 2019 / 7:51 AM / 3 months ago

SpaceX launches unmanned U.S. space capsule to space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 2 (Reuters) - A SpaceX rocket with a newly designed unmanned crew capsule blasted off on Saturday for the International Space Station, in a key milestone for Elon Musk’s space company and NASA's long-delayed goal to resume human spaceflight from U.S. soil later this year.

SpaceX's 16-foot-tall (4.9 meter) Crew Dragon capsule, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, lifted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at TK 2:49 a.m. (0749 GMT), carrying a test dummy nicknamed Ripley.

The space station's three-member crew was expected to greet the capsule, carrying 400 pounds of supplies and test equipment, early Sunday morning, NASA said. During its five-day stay, U.S. astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will run tests and inspect Crew Dragon's cabin. (Reporting By Joey Roulette at Cape Canaveral, Florida; Editing by David Gregorio and Kim Coghill)

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