NASA astronauts take off into space on a SpaceX rocket

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A rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company took off with two Americans on a historic flight to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft took off Saturday afternoon from the same launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, which was used during Apollo missions to the moon half a century ago.

The flight ushers in a new era in commercial space travel and marks the first time that NASA has launched astronauts from American soil in nearly a decade.

“Let’s light this candle,” said Commander Doug Hurley just before takeoff.

Since the withdrawal of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan to take American astronauts to and from the space station.

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