Mike Pence calls US astronauts 'trailblazers' ahead of launch next week

Pablo Tucker
May 21, 2020

Workers near the top of the 526 ft.

"It's an incredible time for NASA and the space program, once again launching USA crews from Florida and hopefully in just a week from about right now", Hurley told reporters minutes after arriving.

SpaceX will launch a new crew into orbit on Wednesday, May 27, from the Kennedy Space Center. It will be the first time a commercial operator has launched a crewed orbital launch vehicle to the International Space Station.

NASA test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken departed Houston aboard one of the space agency's jet planes. The spacecraft that will be the first to carry American astronauts from American soil in nearly a decade made the short trip from the SpaceX processing facility at nearby Cape Canaveral.

The two Shuttle-era astronauts will spend the next week in a familiar facility.

Since 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spacecrafts to send American astronauts to the International Space Station since NASA retired its remaining Space Shuttle fleet.

"They'll go into quarantine in crew quarters at the Kennedy Space Center just as they did as they flew aboard the Shuttle", said KSC Director Bob Cabana. Journalists were told to wear masks.

Anybody who has already graduated or will graduate this year can submit their pictures, which will be part of a mosaic image of Earth aboard the upcoming Crew Dragon mission. The astronauts will first be transported to the launch pad in the Model X before walking across the bridge linking the launch tower to the Falcon 9.

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