NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine on Friday unveiled the highly anticipated date on which astronauts will launch from American soil for the first time since 2011.
Officials previously announced the mission would take place sometime in May, but we now know the exact target date is May 27, just a little more than a month from now.
Bridenstine unveiled the news in a tweet posted at noon, which included a video compilation of astronauts making their way to the spacecraft before iconic launches from the Kennedy Space Center. The footage ended with the Launch America logo and the date May 27, 2020.
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
The post was liked and retweeted thousands of times within minutes.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will launch in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center’s historic launchpad 39A, the same pad where Apollo 11 launched to the moon more than 50 years ago.
From there, the crewed spacecraft will head to the International Space Station, although it’s unknown at this point how long it will stay docked.
In January, SpaceX conducted an abort test to make sure that if something were to go wrong during the flight, the capsule could successfully detach to keep astronauts safe in the event of a Falcon 9 rocket launch failure.
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