In 2006, under President George W. Bush, the space agency started a program to get commercial companies to begin delivering cargo to the global space station.
Falcon 9's job is done for today, but the mission is not over. He promised to launch American astronauts on American rockets.
Top US leadership including President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and thousands of curious Americans had gathered to watch the launch live on a bright Sunday afternoon.
SpaceX to reattempt manned rocket launch in Florida
"I'm so proud of the people at NASA, all the people that worked together, public and private. When you see a sight like that it's incredible", Trump said after the launch at the space center. He praised the astronauts for having a lot of courage.
Boeing Co, producing its own launch system in competition with SpaceX, is expected to fly its CST-100 Starliner vehicle with astronauts aboard for the first time next year. You can watch it live right here courtesy of NASA TV, with coverage starting at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT).
The Crew Dragon spacecraft atop the rocket's upper stage separated 12 minutes later after achieving low Earth orbit. The booster stage rocket then re-entered Earth and landed back on the SpaceX drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You", all in a smooth sequence.
Congresswoman Kendra Horn, chair of the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, congratulated NASA and SpaceX on successful demonstration launch of astronauts Hurley and Behnken to the ISS. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS at 10:29 am EDT on Sunday.More news: Beyoncé Demands Justice For George Floyd: "We Can No Longer Look Away"
After successfully docking, Behnken and Hurley will be welcomed aboard station and will become members of the Expedition 63 crew.
Hurley will conduct two tests during the mission, the one he just did called a "far-field" flight test because it's far away from the ISS, and one called the "near-field" test which will be conducted when they're closer to the station. Skies stayed nice enough and at 45 seconds before lift off, the Crew Dragon finally got the "go for launch" command from the launch director.
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken are ready.
Hurley is the spacecraft commander for the mission, responsible for activities such as launch, landing and recovery.More news: Monkey snatches Covid-19 samples in India
The last time Nasa launched astronauts into space on a new vehicle was 40 years ago at the beginning of the shuttle program.
"The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars", he said.
In 2014, the two companies signed multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA's Commercial Crew Program to finish development of their astronaut taxis and fly six operational crewed missions to and from the orbiting lab. Demo-2 is the first orbital human mission to launch from the United States.
SpaceX now is readying the hardware for the first space station crew rotational mission, which would happen after data from this test flight is reviewed for certification, according to NASA. However, bad weather caused the launch to be scrubbed less than 15 minutes before engine ignition and NASA made a decision to try again during one of the mission's backup launch windows - either today at 03:22 p.m. EDT (12:22 p.m. PDT) or tomorrow at 03:00 p.m. EDT (12:00 p.m. PDT).More news: US Police Fire Pepper Balls at TV Reporter Live on Air