SpaceX launches second private flight – with a history-making passenger

US

SpaceX’s second private flight has launched passengers, including Saudi Arabia’s first female astronaut, to the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Falcon rocket launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre on Sunday night.

The crew will be led by a retired NASA astronaut who now works for the company, which arranged the 10-day trip.

It is the second charter flight organised by Houston-based Axiom Space.

The company would not reveal how much the latest tickets cost, but previously cited per-seat prices of $55m (£44m).

Saudi Arabia’s first astronauts in decades are Rayyanah Barnawi, a stem cell researcher, and Royal Saudi Air Force fighter pilot Ali al-Qarni.

Rounding out the crew is John Shoffner, a US businessman who started his own sports car racing team, and Peggy Whitson, who holds the US record for most accumulated time in space at 665 days.

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