Japan's Hoshide, other astronauts head to space station aboard SpaceX ship

Kyodo -- Apr 24
Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and three others lifted off Friday as part of a crew rotation flight on a SpaceX-developed craft to the International Space Station.

The Crew Dragon space capsule was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:49 a.m. from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the third manned flight of its kind. It was the first time to reuse the capsule and part of the rocket from previous missions.

The spacecraft and rocket developed by U.S. company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. was certified last year by NASA for crew missions to and from the ISS, becoming the first commercial system in history to achieve such a designation.

- Kyodo