Astronauts to launch from U.S. soil once again
May 27th, 4:32 pm EST. Launch complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center. That's the time, and the place where SpaceX will send two astronauts into space in the final test to show readiness to begin their "space taxi" service for NASA.
Known as the crew dragon, this is the final test of all systems , preceded by DM-1 in March of 2019, which flew the crew capsule unmanned into orbit. Then in January of 2020 the IFA (In Flight Abort) test showed the readiness of SpaceX escape systems. Now as of April 17th, NASA has announced they will go ahead with the mission.
SpaceX has been developing their crew dragon for six years now. When the launch takes place, SpaceX will be the first private company to launch NASA astronauts into space, once again making history.
Photo credit: SpaceX
As of now NASA is moving forward with the mission, administrator Jim Bridenstine says. Though as with any rocket launch, many factors could cause the schedule to change.
NASA is proactively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19),” NASA said in a statement. “The agency will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer and communicate any updates that may impact mission planning or media access, as they become available.”
Upon a successful mission NASA will no longer have to depend on the Russian Space agency to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, our only method of travel to and from at this time.