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Jessica Watkins becomes 1st Black woman to take part in extended space mission

SpaceX Crew Launch
Posted at 12:19 PM, Apr 27, 2022

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA, less than two days after completing a flight chartered by millionaires.

The Falcon rocket blasted off before dawn Wednesday from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

The crew includes the first Black woman making a long-term spaceflight, NASA's Jessica Watkins.

Watkins reflected on the significance of her achievement during an interview with NPR.

"I think it really is just a tribute to the legacy of the Black women astronauts that have come before me, as well as to the exciting future ahead," she said.

Also on board: the European Space Agency's lone female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy.

It's the first time NASA has sent up a crew comprised equally of men and women.

They should reach the space station Wednesday night.