NASA announces first SpaceX crewed flight for May 27

NASA announces first SpaceX crewed flight for May 27

A SpaceX rocket will send two US astronauts to the International Space Station on May 27, NASA announced Friday, the first manned space flight from the US in nearly a decade. “On May 27, @NASA will relaunch US astronauts on US missiles from the US!” Jim Bridenstine, head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said in a tweet. Since July 2011, the United States has relied on Russian Soyuz missiles to send US astronauts to the ISS.

The U.S. space agency aimed to complete its manned mission in May and remains with the plan despite the global coronavirus pandemic. Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley fly to the ISS on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft also built by SpaceX, the company founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

They will take off from the historic launch pad 39A, the same one that used Apollo and space shuttle missions, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 27 at 4:32 PM (2032 GMT), NASA said. Behnken and Hurley have been training missions for years, bringing the United States closer to becoming no longer dependent on Russia for manned flights.

The Crew Dragon capsule is a modified version of SpaceX & # 39; s Dragon capsule that has been used since 2012 to send supplies to the ISS. It takes approximately 24 hours after takeoff to join the ISS. The duration of their stay on the ISS has not been determined.

An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts are currently on board the ISS. The May mission will be a milestone for NASA, which has struggled to turn the page about the space shuttle era. Shuttles took American astronauts into space for three decades, but two of them also blew up.

After leaving the shuttle, NASA turned to private industry to develop its next-generation spacecraft, and SpaceX and Boeing have battled to roll out a manned capsule. SpaceX came up with Crew Dragon and Boeing the Starliner, but the Starliner suffered a setback in December during a test run.

SpaceX is now poised to become the first private company to send astronauts into space. In March, Musk’s Crew Dragon capsule toured the ISS, located more than 400 kilometers above the Earth, with a mannequin on board, before returning to the Atlantic Ocean after six days in space.

SpaceX has made the trip 15 times since 2012, but only to refuel the station.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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