SpaceX launch lights up night sky in Florida

A white halo was seen developing around the rocket as it launched into Earth's orbit.

The rocket ship had blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center, around 80 km (50 miles) away. It was carrying billionaire e-commerce executive Jared Isaacman and three private citizens he chose to join him in the first all-civilian crew ever launched into Earth orbit.

It marked the debut flight of SpaceX owner Elon Musk's new orbital tourism business, and a leap ahead of competitors likewise offering rides on rocket ships to customers willing to pay a small fortune for the exhilaration - and bragging rights - of spaceflight.

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