- South African-born billionaire Elon Musk has made history over the past weekend
- A spacecraft manufactured by Musk's SpaceX put two NASA astronauts into orbit
- It is the first time in human history that NASA astronauts have entered the International Space Station from a commercially-made spacecraft
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On Saturday, Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched two people into orbit. One of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets lifted off over the weekend to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
The rocket lifted off at 21:22 SA time and about 12 minutes later, a relatively small payload separated from the 23-story launcher, slipping the spacecraft into low-Earth orbit, Business Insider reported.
The privately developed commercial spaceship - which is called Crew Dragon - carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
Taking to Twitter, NASA tweeted about the historic moment, adding it is the first time in human history that their astronauts have entered the International Space Station from a commercially-made spacecraft.
Take a look at the video:
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The launch is a major step in the right direction for SpaceX to help commercialise space. Musk has since opened up about the victory, adding it is a dream come true.
He was quoted saying:
"This is a dream come true for me and everyone else at SpaceX. I didn't even dream that this would come true."
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has since congratulated Musk on the historic feat. The SA government shared Ramaphosa's message on its official website.
The head of state said:
"In the midst of our struggle against Covid-19, Elon Musk has made us proud as a country and continent."
“The Dragon’s successful flight to the International Space Station speaks of the ability of a resilient, industrious, fearless and visionary individual to harness talent and material resources to open new frontiers of hope, adventure and opportunity for generations into the future."
“It is most appropriate that we have been given this hope and excitement at a time when insecurity and uncertainty defines the human condition in many parts of the world.”
Musk was born in Pretoria on 28 June, 1971. He holds South African, Canadian and American citizenship.
Briefly.co.za previously reported that Musk and his team were running all the necessary tests to get Crew Dragon ready for lift-off.
Earlier this year, SpaceX ran a successful in-flight abort (IFA) test after the company crossed off all the major milestones needed before flying people.
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