Elon Musk’s aerospace enterprise SpaceX has finally set a date to launch astronauts into space, and we don’t have long to wait. On May 27, 2020, SpaceX will launch from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first two astronauts to fly onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft powered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
The SpaceX launch is part of the Demo-2 mission to and from the International Space Station, which will return human spaceflight to the United States since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.
To mark the return of human spaceflight using American rockets, NASA is bringing back its classic worm logo, temporarily replacing the modern logo which resides in a sphere and represents the planet, the stars and space.
In March 2019, SpaceX completed an end-to-end test flight of Crew Dragon without NASA astronauts onboard, making Dragon the first American spacecraft to autonomously dock with the International Space Station and safely return to Earth.
Fast track to January 2020 and SpaceX demonstrated Crew Dragon’s in-flight launch escape capability to reliably carry crew to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on the launch pad or at any point during ascent.
SpaceX has completed over 700 tests of the spacecraft’s engines, which fired together at full throttle, can power Dragon 0.5 miles away from Falcon 9 in 7.5 seconds, accelerating the vehicle more than 400 mp/h (643.7km/h).
SpaceX says it’s returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and working with NASA is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.