They will have to spend about six months in orbit.

The Crew Dragon manned spacecraft of the American company SpaceX with four astronauts on board launched on Wednesday evening to the International Space Station (ISS). The broadcast was carried out on the website of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome (Florida) was carried out at 21:04 East coast time. The crew of Crew Dragon included American astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer. They will have to spend about six months in orbit.

Approximately 9 minutes after launch, the first stage of the launch vehicle was automatically landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. 12 minutes after the launch, the ship was put into near-Earth orbit. Earlier, the launch was postponed several times due to adverse weather conditions.

The Crew Dragon docking with the ISS is scheduled for Thursday at 19:10. Now there are three crew members on the station: Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Peter Dubrov, as well as NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei.

The ship used in the current launch is being used for the first time. It was named Endurance. The first stage of the launch vehicle was previously used during SpaceX launches.