On April 23rd, at 5:49 ET SpaceX launched a Dragon 2 Crew Capsule to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft is helmed by Commander Shane Kimbrough. Alongside him are Pilot Megan McArthur and mission specialists Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet. This launch is the first reuse of a Crew Dragon capsule, and the first time crew has flown in a reused Dragon capsule. This capsule, Dragon Endeavor, first flew on Demo 2, carrying Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the return of crewed spaceflight from U.S. soil. Likewise, this is the first crewed mission to fly on a reused booster. The booster, B1061, previously flew on Crew 1 and will be flying again on Inspiration 4 later this year. Early tomorrow morning the four astronauts will arrive at the International Space Station to join Expedition 65. You can watch it live on NASA TV.

This early morning launch occurred just before dawn, so sunlight was able to reach the rocket while it was in the upper atmosphere. This created what is known as a “jellyfish effect” where the exhaust from the engines as well as the nitrogen released from the reaction control thrusters were illuminated by the sunlight, creating a brilliant display of patterns in the sky.

Pre-Launch Photos

Launch Photos

Photographers

An Tran: @the_space_nut

Derek Wise @derekiswise

Jared Base: @baserunner0723

Jenny Hautmann @JennyHPhoto

Seth Kurkowski @SethKurk

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