SpaceX is about to launch its first people to orbit and, in the process, resurrect human spaceflight from America.
Though SpaceX’s flight is experimental, the two astronauts slated to pilot it say they accept the risks and are ready to fly.
The rocket company, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, has worked for nearly a decade with NASA to design, build, and fly a new seven-seat spaceship called Crew Dragon. NASA’s hope with more than $3.1 billion effort is to once again launch astronauts from US soil — an ability the agency lost in July 2011 when it retired its last space shuttle.
NASA picked seasoned astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to pilot the mission, called Demo-2. If all goes according to plan, the duo should lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 27 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.