Orbital human spaceflight returns to the Cape in six weeks! https://t.co/pH52N1KyoX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 18, 2020
SpaceX and NASA have chosen May 27 as the date of resuming spaceflight missions from U.S. soil.
Elon Musk tweeted on April 18 that missions will return “to the Cape in six weeks!”. The mission, codenamed Demo-2, marks the first time NASA will launch astronauts into orbit from the United States, after the latter shutting down its Space Shuttle program.
Up until that date, the United States has been relying on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Moreover, for the first time in the history of mankind, a private company (being SpaceX) will launch people into orbit.
The timing for liftoff has been set for 4:32 p.m. EDT(2032 GMT) from the landmark launchpad 39A, the same launchpad used for NASA’s Apollo and shuttle, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The scheduled mission will consist of a 2-man crew, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket that will support the Crew Dragon spacecraft, and upon its completion, the two aforementioned astronauts will return to Earth and will be retrieved by a SpaceX recovery ship.
NASA initially commissioned SpaceX as one of its space taxi providers in 2014, awarding it $2.6 billion in funding to develop the Crew Dragon spacecraft, before awarding it an additional $3.1 billion for the spacecraft’s development program.