SpaceX has been given the green light for its first crewed spacecraft launch. The mission will be a demonstration of a kind of “taxi” service that SpaceX will be selling to NASA as part of the space agency’s Commercial Crew, which aims to defray the high costs of space travel. Taking place in just a few days, NASA astronauts will be making their way to the International Space Station.
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will be lifting off U.S. soil in the coming days — the first time in nine years since anyone has launched from the U.S. — launching the two into orbit with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in the Crew Dragon capsule. The mission was confirmed when SpaceX passed the Flight Readiness Review, a thorough test that ensures the mission’s safety. One final review will follow.
Crew Dragon will be taking off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After boarding the ISS, Hurley and Behnken will be joining their crew for up to three months, contributing to important work before making their trip back home. Never before has there ever been a private U.S.-built spacecraft launching humans into space, so this particular endeavor will be a big moment for the space industry.
Lift-off for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is set for May 27, 4:30 p.m. EDT.