Two astronauts inside flight simulator (SpaceX/NASA)
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front) execute a full simulation of launch and docking of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft in the flight simulator in March. (SpaceX/NASA)

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.

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.

Illustration showing SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft separating from Falcon 9 rocket in space (SpaceX/NASA)
In this illustration, the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft separates from the Falcon 9 rocket during SpaceX’s uncrewed in-flight abort test for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (SpaceX/NASA)