June 13, 2024


A private space mission launched four European astronauts to the International Space Station on Thursday, in a milestone for a region desperate to boost its space credentials following a series of setbacks.  

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted the astronauts into orbit, launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft is expected to arrive at the ISS in the early hours of January 20.

Spanish astronaut Michael López-Alegría will lead the space crew. Also on board is Walter Villadei of the Italian Air Force, Alper Gezeravcı from Turkey, and Marcus Wandt of Sweden. Gezeravcı is Turkey’s first-ever astronaut.

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