It has marked the dawn of a new age in commercial space travel.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX company confirmed the successful docking of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley with the ISS, the orbiting laboratory after traveling 19 hours.
They were greeted by fellow NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who were already on board the orbiting laboratory.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine called the station from the space agency’s mission control center in Houston, Texas. Bridenstine said, “we are so, so proud of everything you’ve done for our country, and in fact, to inspire the world.”
Saturday’s liftoff also assumes significance as it marks the launch of humans into orbit from US soil for the first time in nearly a decade.
With the liftoff, SpaceX became the first private company to launch people into the orbit, a feat achieved previously by only three governments – US, Russia and China.