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SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts shot into space in historic mission

Andrew Griffin

SpaceX has sent Nasa astronauts into space in a historic mission.

It is the first time that humans have been shot into space from US soil since the Space Shuttle programme ended in 2011. And it is the first time that humans have been sent into space by a private company, a feat only previous achieved by the space agencies of the US, Russia and China.

SpaceX and Nasa hailed the achievement as the beginning of a plan that should make it far cheaper to head into space, and which could lead to humans being sent back to the Moon and Mars.

The original attempt to launch the rocket had been delayed, after Nasa feared that the launch could "trigger lightning" because of bad weather conditions.

The second attempt came amid similarly poor weather, but conditions cleared in time for mission controllers to be confident that the craft could launch safely.

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