Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has successfully launched an international team of astronauts into space in a recycled rocket.

Footage shows the four astronauts entering orbit to a wave of cheers and applause from mission control staff.

The Nasa-coordinated team, from three different countries, are now headed to the International Space Station (ISS) where they will live for six months.

The Crew-2 Dragon craft containing them was the first ever crewed orbital spaceflight by a private company when it carried another team into orbit for a test run in May 2020, according to Nasa.

It was also the first ever reusable human capsule launch and entry system to fly into space, meaning it has made history again as the first ever system of its kind to be recycled for a second trip to space.

The Falcon 9 launch vehicle is also partially reusable.

The ‘Endeavour’ is carrying Nasa astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

As the second stage of the capsule separated into orbit, Mr Kimbrough could be heard to say: ‘Glad to be back in space for all of us’.

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Watchers had to get up in the early hours of Friday morning to see the rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:49 a.m Eastern Time.

Ms McCarthur is said to be sitting in the same seat her husband did in the May 2020 flight.

It marks only the third time Mr Musk’s space company, now worth $74 billion, has sent humans into space.

Its second crewed mission, aboard the Crew-1, has been docked on the ISS since November.

The Endeavour’s trip marks the first time that two teams of US astronauts are in space at the same time, and that two American spacecraft will be docked at the ISS simultaneously, since the 1960s.

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