First Native American woman reaches orbit in SpaceX flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX and NASA launched a crew of astronauts from across the world on a trip to the International Space Station Wednesday. The rocket and spacecraft lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The four crew members include two NASA astronauts, an astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and a cosmonaut from the Russian Space Agency.

NASA’s Nicole Mann is now the first Native American woman to reach orbit and she’s also the first woman to serve as commander of a SpaceX flight.

Mann is registered with the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and she was selected by NASA in June 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class.

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Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) Crew Portrait Session – Official Portrait of NASA Astronaut Nicole Mann. Photo Date: May 1, 2019. Location: Building 8, Room 183 – Photo Studio. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

The spacecraft is set to dock with the space station Thursday evening.

The mission marks the sixth astronaut launch SpaceX has carried out in partnership with NASA, and it’s the company’s eighth crewed flight overall.

Categories: National News