The Best Moments of SpaceX and NASA’s First Crewed Flight to ISS: Photos

NASA and SpaceX launched the first operational Crew Dragon mission on Sunday. NASA

SpaceX and NASA made history on Sunday night when a spacecraft called “Resilience” lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and flew four astronauts onboard toward the International Space Station.

Dubbed Crew-1, the mission marked the first time NASA sent a full crew to the space station using a rocket-capsule system made by an American private company. In May, the agency sent up the astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on the final test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon system.

The four astronauts on Sunday’s flight are NASA commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, mission specialist Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They will stay on the ISS for a six-month expedition and join three other astronauts currently working on the ISS.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Resilience capsule blasted off at 7:27 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday. After two successful stage separations, the space capsule reached orbit an hour later. According to the plan, the astronauts are expected to dock at the ISS at 11 p.m. Eastern time Monday night. You can follow the journey on NASA TV.

Here are the most memorable moments of the historic mission so far.

Crew-1 astronauts in SpaceX’s new flight suits arrived at the Kennedy Space Center Sunday afternoon. 

Crew-1 mission astronauts (L to R) Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building en route to launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 15, 2020. GREGG NEWTON/Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted a selfie with Crew-1 members and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell during a pre-launch conference. (Elon Musk wasn’t there because he most likely had COVID-19.)

The four astronauts waved goodbye to family members and visitors from two Tesla Model X cars on their way from the Kennedy Space Center’s crew quarters to launch complex 39A.

Crew-1 mission astronaut Soichi Noguch gestures to family members during the crew walkout. GREGG NEWTON/Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins says goodbye to a family member during the Crew-1 mission walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building en route to launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. GREGG NEWTON/Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images

Resilience lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27 p.m. on Sunday. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft launches from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Falcon 9 engines firing up and brightening up the night sky. NASA

Hopkins, the mission’s commander, reported that the crew members were in good spirits and all smiles on the way up.

Crew-1 astronauts inside “Resilience” capsule on their way up. NASA/SpaceX

Resilience reached Earth’s orbit at around 8:30 p.m. SpaceX tweeted a video showing a view of our blue planet from above.

The astronauts entered microgravity after reaching Earth’s orbit, and there emerged a fifth crew member: Baby Yoda from Star Wars.

Baby Yoda seen on screen during the livestream of the Crew-1 mission. NASA/SpaceX

Updated: Resilience successfully docked with the space station at 11 p.m. Eastern Time Monday.

Resilience capsule docked with the ISS. NASA

The Best Moments of SpaceX and NASA’s First Crewed Flight to ISS: Photos