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WATCH: SpaceX rocket blasts off for ISS with first all-private crew; Tickets cost $55 million

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Apr 08: The first fully private mission with three rich businessmen and their astronaut to the International Space Station blasted off from Florida Friday.

Image credit: @NASA

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft carrying Ax-1 crew members Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe into orbit.

"What a historic launch! Thank you to the dedicated teams at NASA who have worked tirelessly to make this mission a reality," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

"NASA's partnership with industry through the commercial cargo and crew programs has led our nation to this new era in human spaceflight - one with limitless potential. Congratulations to Axiom, SpaceX, and the Axiom-1 crew for making this first private mission to the International Space Station a reality."

Arriving at the space station Saturday will be an American, Canadian and Israeli who run investment, real estate and other companies. They're paying $55 million apiece for the rocket ride and accommodations, all meals included.

The three businessmen are the latest to take advantage of the opening of space to those with deep pockets. Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin is taking customers on 10-minute rides to the edge of space, while Virgin Galactic expects to start flying customers on its rocket ship later this year.

Friday's flight is the second private charter for Elon Musk's SpaceX, which took a billionaire and his guests on a three-day orbit ride last year.

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