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SpaceX rocket blasts off from Florida with first-ever all-civilian crew

At just after 8 p.m. local time in Cape Canaveral, Florida on a warm, clear night, a rocket dubbed Falcon 9 blasted off, carrying the Crew Dragon Capsule, which will be home for the two men and two women for the next three days.

"You are truly inspiring the world," came the word from SpaceX mission control as the rocket blasted off. "Good luck, Godspeed and enjoy the ride."

By 12 minutes into the ride, the capsule reached the boundary of space, drawing a big cheer from mission control. The capsule is heading to an orbital altitude of 575 kilometers (357 miles) above Earth, which is beyond the orbit of the International Space Station.

The mission, called "Inspiration4" is notable for several reasons. Unlike the space flights led by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos in July, considered the first of their kind, Musk himself is not aboard the Crew Dragon.


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