SpaceX to send astronauts to the International Space Station May 27

The test will be the first crewed launch from American soil since 2011.
By | Published: April 17, 2020 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the company’s Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, executed a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front) participating in SpaceX’s flight simulator.

SpaceX and NASA will send two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 27. The launch will mark the United States’ first crewed launch since the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will blast off in the privately built Dragon Crew Capsule, atop one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. Both Behnken and Hurley have previously spent time on the ISS during the Space Shuttle Program.

Once the Dragon Crew Capsule docks with the ISS, Behnken and Hurley will join the rest of the Expedition 63 crew already orbiting in space. They’ll perform tests on their capsule, as well as conduct research with the rest of the crew. The length of their mission won’t be announced until the astronauts reach the ISS and NASA and SpaceX can determine when they’ll be ready for the next crewed launch.

The launch and docking the ISS will be the final test for SpaceX and the Commercial Crew Program.

A new “space race”

SpaceX and Boeing were both hired by NASA as part of its Commercial Crew Program, which will utilize private aerospace companies to help usher in the next era of space travel. Throughout the past five years, the companies have been racing to keep up with NASA’s demands to get astronauts to space without relying on Russian spacecraft.

You can follow mankind’s journey to the lunar surface in our free downloadable eBook: Project Apollo: Reaching for the Moon.

Boeing attempted an uncrewed launch to the ISS in December 2019. While the launch itself was successful, after reaching space, a timing error in the capsule shot it off into the wrong orbit. Boeing was forced to forgo the rest of the mission and bring their capsule safely down in New Mexico. They have since announced their next mission will again be uncrewed.

To follow more updates about SpaceX’s launch, follow the hashtag, #LaunchAmerica.