Jessica Watkins Becomes First Black Astronaut to the International Space Station

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Jessica Watkins is the first Black woman to fly to the International Space Station.

On Wednesday, Watkins and three other astronauts were launched into space from the Kennedy Space Center for a long-duration mission.

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

Watkins will join the International Space Crew for several months of scientific research, station maintenance, training, and more.

In addition to Hines, Lindgren and Cristoforetti, the mission includes two other NASA astronauts.

The team launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

It follows Victor Glover's historic journey on SpaceX's Crew-2 mission as the first Black astronaut to live on the station.

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