CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX has begun a brand new chapter within the historical past of United States spaceflight.Elon Musk’s personal area firm on Saturday launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into orbit, efficiently starting SpaceX’s first crewed mission. The corporate’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft took off from NASA’s Kennedy House Heart in Florida at 3:22 p.m. ET. The capsule is the primary privately designed and constructed spacecraft to hold astronauts to area and is certain for the Worldwide House Station.Past the achievement for SpaceX, the launch represents the primary time NASA has launched its personal astronauts for the reason that finish of the area shuttle program almost a decade in the past.”It was unimaginable,” NASA astronaut Bob Behnken mentioned of the launch, moments after the spacecraft reached orbit. “Respect all of the laborious work and thanks for the good trip to area.”Often called Demo-2, the launch represents the fruits of SpaceX’s work to date. Musk based the corporate in 2002 and has since declared its casual credo to be “making humanity a multi-planetary species.” Thus far, SpaceX has launched dozens of satellites and spacecraft however, earlier than Saturday, it had by no means put a human in area.NASA astronauts contained in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.NASAJust after 3:22 p.m. ET, the Falcon 9 rocket carrying Crew Dragon and the astronauts lifted off from the launchpad. About 12 minutes later, Crew Dragon reached orbit efficiently.”Thanks for flying with Falcon 9,” SpaceX’s launch director informed the astronauts. “We want you an excellent mission.”The astronauts are scheduled to succeed in the Worldwide House Station on Sunday morning. The pair will spend a few months on board the area station earlier than getting backA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from launch complicated 39A on the Kennedy House Heart in Florida on Could 30, 2020.Gregg Newton | Getty ImagesIn addition to the launch, SpaceX additionally efficiently landed the Falcon 9 rocket booster. The booster is the massive decrease portion of the rocket, which re-entered the Earth’s atmopshere and landed on the corporate’s drone ship within the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX has landed its Falcon 9 rocket boosters 45 occasions.Musk was there to observe the launch in particular person, together with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence watch the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. Could 30, 2020.Jonathan Ernst | Reuters”This only the start; it is solely going to get higher,” Bob Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy House Heart, mentioned earlier than the launch.Ever for the reason that area shuttle retired about 9 years in the past, the U.S. has paid Russia upwards of $80 million per seat to fly NASA astronauts to the Worldwide House Station. However NASA awarded SpaceX and Boeing with contracts worth $3.1 billion and $4.eight billion, respectively, to develop new spacecraft underneath a program referred to as Industrial Crew. For SpaceX, the Demo-2 launch represents the ultimate flight check of its Crew Dragon capsule, constructed to hold as many as seven folks to orbit.NASA plans to fly its astronauts repeatedly to the area station, anticipated to pay SpaceX about $55 million per astronaut to take action. After these missions start, SpaceX plans to make use of Crew Dragon spacecraft for different missions. These embrace area tourism, as the corporate has up to now unveiled two offers to fly privately paying folks to area on Crew Dragon as early as subsequent 12 months.”We’re on the daybreak of a brand new age and we’re actually main the start of the area revolution,” NASA deputy administrator Jim Morhard informed press forward of the launch.NASA will broadcast 24 hours of nonstop stay protection of SpaceX Demo-2. The webcast started 4 hours earlier than liftoff and can proceed till the Crew Dragon spacecraft docks with the ISS.Subscribe to CNBC PRO for unique insights and evaluation, and stay enterprise day programming from world wide.