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NASA, SpaceX launch 6th crewed mission to space station

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-02 17:29

LOS ANGELES -- NASA and SpaceX launched the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on early Thursday.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft Endurance roared off Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:34 a.m. Eastern Time (0534 GMT) Thursday.

Shortly after the liftoff, SpaceX confirmed the main engine cutoff and stage separation.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on the "Just Read the Instructions," off the coast of Florida.

The Dragon spacecraft has separated from the second stage, and headed to the ISS.

The mission is the sixth crew rotation flight of a Dragon spacecraft as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The Crew-6 launch carries NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren "Woody" Hoburg, as well as United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev to the space station for a science expedition mission.

The launch was originally scheduled on Monday, but was called off due to a ground systems issue.

After a thorough review of the data and ground system, both NASA and SpaceX teams identified a clogged filter on the ground as the cause.

SpaceX teams replaced the filter, purged the line of ignition fluid with nitrogen, and verified the lines are clean and ready for the new launch attempt, according to NASA.

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