NASA, SpaceX Target May for First Crew Launch to International Space Station from America Since 2011

By  //  March 19, 2020

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This mission will be the return of human spaceflight launch capabilities to the United States

NASA’s upcoming SpaceX Demo-2 flight test will send two astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. (NASA image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – NASA’s upcoming SpaceX Demo-2 flight test will send two astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

This mission will be the return of human spaceflight launch capabilities to the United States and the first launch of American astronauts aboard an American rocket and spacecraft since the final space shuttle mission on July 8, 2011.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch Crew Dragon, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the spacecraft, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA and SpaceX are currently targeting no earlier than mid-to-late May for launch.

This second demonstration mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is another end-to-end flight test of SpaceX’s human spaceflight system, which will include launch, docking, splashdown and recovery operations.

It is the final flight test of the system before SpaceX is certified to carry out operational crew flights to and from the space station for NASA.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry through a public-private partnership to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil.

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The goal of the program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the space station, which will allow for additional research time and will increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration.

The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in space exploration, including future missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

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