Final preparations being made for first manned mission to space in nearly 10 years

SpaceX has scrubbed Wednesday afternoon's manned launch after unfavorable weather conditions continued throughout the entire day. 

SpaceX will try again on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. EDT.


Final preparations are underway as the first manned mission to space in nearly ten years quickly approaches.

NASA and SpaceX will launch the first astronauts since the retirement of the space shuttle program in 2011 on May 27 from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

Veteran astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. They will travel to the International Space Station for the Demo-2 mission, testing the Dragon spacecraft systems for the first time in orbit before beginning their extended stay in space.

When the time to return home comes, they will re-enter Earth's atmosphere and splashdown just off of Florida's Atlantic Coast. SpaceX's Navigator recovery vessel will find them and bring them back to Cape Canaveral. 

If the mission is successful, it will validate SpaceX’s crew transportation system, including the launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, and operational capabilities. This will allow the Crew Dragon spacecraft to complete longer missions, taking the next step in space exploration.

MORE NEWS: Who are the astronauts that will embark on the first manned mission into space in nearly ten years?

President Trump will travel to Cape Canaveral for the launch, the White House said.

Vice President Mike Pence believes the launch will serve as a sign of hope for Americans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, citing that "it'll remind the American people that even in the midst of the most challenging times, America still moves forward."

The launch will also signify a step in the Trump administration’s goal to reestablish American dominance in space. In December 2019, Trump signed a defense spending bill authorizing the creation of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

MORE NEWS: SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft raised into position ahead of upcoming manned mission


Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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