SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has a launch date – May 27

Cat Mules

Cat Mules

On Friday, NASA’s Jim Bridenstine announced Elon Musk’s space agency has set a date for the first human launch to orbit from the United States in nearly a decade.

NASA pic from spacex website6

The May 27 orbit crew, including NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (front left) and Doug Hurley (front right)

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will depart on 4:32pm ET (20:32 UTC), May 27 on a Falcon 9 rocket, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. This test flight to the International Space Station may last as long as 110 days but could be less. Two NASA astronauts will be aboard the multi-month mission – Doug Hurley as “spacecraft commander” will command the vehicle while in flight, while Bob Behnken will be “joint operations commander”.

This mission represents a major milestone for SpaceX which since 2002 has been launching spacecraft, satellites and cargo, but is yet to fly humans. It’s also an opportunity to break the current US dependence on Russia for human spaceflight.

Some hurdles remain for NASA and SpaceX to clear before the mission takes place, including final parachute tests, an investigation into March’s Merlin engine failure, and the standard Flight Readiness Review meetings that would usually be held in person.  But Friday’s announcement confirms NASA has a plan to work through these issues, and that we will witness human spaceflight in the months to come.

Cat Mules

Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has a launch date – May 27

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