NASA, together with SpaceX, will launch astronauts Bob Banken and Doug Hurley into orbit. A demo mission called Demo-2 is due to launch on May 27 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Astronauts will be put aboard the new SpaceX Crew Dragon, which was developed and tested for eight years.
Banken and Hurley were isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic, and their mission is to meet staffing requirements onboard the International Space Station (ISS). If successful, Demo-2 will be the first launch of astronauts from the United States on board an American spacecraft and rocket in nine years.
“For the first time since 2011, we are on the verge of launching American astronauts using American devices from American soil,” said NASA administrator Jim Brydensteen. He added that after the decommissioning of several spaceships in July 2011, NASA sent astronauts to the ISS using Russian devices.
The Falcon-9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft should start on May 27 at 20:30 GMT, the flight itself will take about a day. Researchers have not yet specified how long the crew will work onboard the station. Now two Russian cosmonauts and one American astronaut are working on the ISS.