The American space agency NASA wants to send astronauts from the US to the International Space Station ISS on 27 May for the first time in almost a decade. NASA director Jim Bridenstine announced this on Friday (local time) via Twitter.
NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are launched with a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, aboard a Crew Dragon capsule from private space company SpaceX.
That company carried out another successful test of the rocket and the capsule in January. SpaceX previously brought cargo to ISS.
NASA stopped its own manned space flights for cost reasons. Space shuttle Atlantis flew for the last time in 2011. Since then, the US depended on the Russians to fly to the International Space Station.
Big Test for SpaceX
The mission promises to be a big test for SpaceX. Competitor Boeing also wants to bring NASA astronauts to the ISS with the Starliner program in the future. Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company ultimately also wants to organise commercial space travel with passengers.
BREAKING: On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil! With our @SpaceX partners, @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken will launch to the @Space_Station on the #CrewDragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Let’s #LaunchAmerica 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/RINb3mfRWI
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 17, 2020