SpaceX Falcon 9 Prepares to Launch, Then Scrubs Crew Dragon With NASA Astronauts

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  • America is getting ready to send astronauts back into space, on spacecraft made in the USA. On May 27 at 4:33 pm ET, Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp plans to launch its first crewed flight since the company was founded in 2002, transporting two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, to the International Space Station.

    The flight of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, an effort to restore the U.S.’s ability to send astronauts into orbit for the first time since the space shuttle program was ended in 2011. Since then, NASA has had to buy seats on Russia’s Soyuz rockets to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

    The space agency chose SpaceX and Boeing Co. as the contractors for Commercial Crew. An unmanned Boeing test flight in December had a malfunction, delaying the aerospace giant’s efforts to launch its first mission with people.

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