The first launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade is scheduled to take off May 27 from Kennedy Space Center’s launch complex to the International Space Station, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced April 17.
NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:32 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (20:32 UTC) on May 27, from Launch Complex 39A in Florida, for an extended stay at the space station. The specific duration of the mission is to be determined, NASA said.
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
Behnken will be the joint operations commander for the mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous with, docking to and undocking from the space station.
Hurley, who flew on the final shuttle mission aboard Atlantis in July 2011, will be the spacecraft commander, responsible for activities such as launch, landing and recovery.
After the mission, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will autonomously undock with the astronauts on board and land in the Atlantic Ocean, where it will be picked up by a recovery vessel, according to NASA.