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First U.S. Astronaut Launch Since Shuttle Gets A Date

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley train on SpaceX's Crew Dragon simulators before their test flight from Kennedy Space Center. Photo: NASA

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NASA has set a date for the launch of SpaceX’s capsule designed to fly humans from Kennedy Space Center – carrying two NASA astronauts.
The launch aims to end a nearly decade-long gap of human-crewed launches from the U.S. since the end of the space shuttle program.

On May 27, NASA and SpaceX say they will launch veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station.

It’s the first human test mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew program – a $6 billion partnership with private companies SpaceX and Boeing to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully launched an uncrewed capsule to the space station last year.

Since the end of the shuttle program, NASA has relied on the Russian space agency for rides to the station.

An uncrewed test mission of Boeing’s astronaut capsule failed back in December. The company says it will try once more before attempting to launch astronauts.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »