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Moment SpaceX rocket blasts off as Turkey’s first astronaut heads to space station

SpaceX launched Turkey’s first astronaut along with a Swede and Italian to the International Space Station on Thursday, 18 January.

The crew - three aviators and their retired Nasa astronaut escort - on board the Falcon rocket is the third group invited by the US space agency.

After the capsule reaches the space station on Saturday, the astronauts will spend two weeks performing experiments before returning home.

The trip has cost each of the three countries at least $55m.

It is the first Axiom crew where each person has a military flying background and is representing their homeland.