The current crisis on Earth hasn’t stopped major space players from forging ahead with their plans. SpaceX and NASA announced they are aiming to launch the first manned SpaceX spacecraft on 27 May 2020.
The inaugural trip for Elon Musk’s space venture plans to launch at 4:32 PM EDT (10:32 PM CAT) from Kennedy Space Center, at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39).
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the two to take this first-ever flight to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 launch system.
“Behnken and Hurley were among the first astronauts to begin working and training on SpaceX’s next-generation human space vehicle and were selected for their extensive test pilot and flight experience, including several missions on the space shuttle,” said NASA in a statement.
This launch is especially historic as it will be the first American launch with an American spacecraft since 2011. Aptly called Launch America, the astronauts will dock at the space station for an extended stay with the specific duration not determined.
Final tests on Space X’s system are underway. These include validating the pad where it will take off, the operational facilities on the ground, orbital systems and astronaut procedures. Once these are successfully completed, the Crew Dragon will get full operational certification.