The moment is historic.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying four space tourists took off, Wednesday, September 15 at 8:03 p.m. local time (2:03 a.m. in Paris), from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, for the first mission in history not taking to orbit the Earth as private passengers, with no professional astronaut on board.

Dragon has separated from Falcon 9's second stage pic.twitter.com/pOfgJ9LsvE

- SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 16, 2021

In a huge fireball illuminating the night, the nine engines on the first stage of the rocket ripped the craft from Earth's gravity.

It came back to land safely on a barge at sea, so that it could be reused.

The second stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket separated as planned about 12 minutes after takeoff, leaving the Dragon capsule in the cosmos, Elon Musk said.

Three days in orbit

The four American tourists on the Inspiration4 mission, led by Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of e-commerce company Shift4 Payments, are to spend three days orbiting the Earth, going beyond the International Space Station.

They spent five months rigorously preparing, including training in altitude, centrifuge (G-force), microgravity and simulator, performing emergency drills and medical exams.

With AFP and Reuters

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