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Houston Astronaut Heads For Orbit Aboard SpaceX Dragon

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A SpaceX Falcon9 rocket, with the Crew Dragon capsule attached, lift's off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39-A Sunday Nov. 15, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Four astronauts are beginning a mission to the international Space Station. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

A Houston native is one of the crew of four headed for a six-month stay at the International Space Station. A Falcon rocket carried SpaceX’s Dragon capsule into orbit on Sunday following a successful liftoff from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch began the first operational mission for the commercial spacecraft.

Rice University graduate Shannon Walker is on board the craft, which is named Resilience because 2020 has been such a tough year. There were watch parties at Space Center Houston and Rice University on Sunday night.

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