SpaceX launches four people to orbit in company’s first-ever tourism mission [Video]

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A SpaceX rocket launched into orbit Wednesday night, September 15, carrying four people, none of whom are professional astronauts, in the first-ever mission to Earth’s orbit with an all-tourist crew.

A billionaire who funded the mission, a cancer survivor, a community college teacher, and a Lockheed Martin employee are among the tourists.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida served as the launch pad.

As the spaceship’s engines fired up shortly after 8 p.m. ET, it soared into the upper atmosphere, creating a dramatic, ghostly light show overhead.

The capsule carrying the four passengers separated from the rocket after reaching speeds of more than 17,000 miles per hour and began to manoeuvre toward its intended orbit.

The crew will spend three days aboard their capsule, which will fly through orbit once every 90 minutes at more than 17,500 miles per hour, while the passengers float and take in panoramic views of Earth before returning for a splashdown landing off the coast of Florida on Saturday.

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