Washington (USA) | Jagran Trending Desk: In a significant step towards space exploration, SpaceX, the American aerospace manufacturer owned by Elon Musk, on Sunday night successfully launched its Crew Dragon Resilience to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Resilience was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at around 7:27 pm. The rocket was carrying three American -- Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and a Japanese -- Soichi Noguchi -- astronauts.

Following the launch, US President-elect Joe Biden hailed SpaceX and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). "Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on today's launch. It’s a testament to the power of science and what we can accomplish by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity, and determination. I join all Americans and the people of Japan in wishing the astronauts Godspeed on their journey," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, incumbent President Donald Trump called it a 'great launch' and said, "NASA was a closed up disaster when we took over. Now it is again the “hottest”, most advanced, space center in the world, by far!"

Vice President Mike Pence, who traveled from Washington to watch the launch, called it a "new era in human space exploration in America".

"The launch of the Resilience Spacecraft is the culmination of four years of renewed leadership in Space. It’s a tribute to the courage of our astronauts, the ingenuity of the men and women of NASA and SpaceX, and the unrelenting vision of President Donald Trump!" he tweeted.

About the launch and why it is so special:

The launch comes just three months after a pair of NASA test pilots successfully concluded SpaceX's first occupied flight of a Dragon crew capsule. The mission is seen as a huge boost to US' space exploration programme and is expected to the world's reliance on Russia for rides on its Soyuz rockets.

The crew members of the Dragon are expected to arrive at their destination at around 11:00 pm Monday (US time) where they will join two Russian and one American astronauts.

Talking about SpaceX, it was founded by Elon Musk in 2002 with an aim to reduce "space transportation costs to enable the colonisation of Mars".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma