SpaceX set to to take its first astronauts into space
SpaceX set to to take its first astronauts into space
4:28

SpaceX set to to take its first astronauts into space

Tech Industry
[MUSIC] After more than a decade of rocket launches, SpaceX is finally ready to send its first astronauts into space. With the launch of the Demo-2 crewed mission, and it's happening in the middle of a pandemic. England's most private space company has partnered with NASA as part of NASA's commercial crew program. It's the first time American astronauts will be taking off from Cape Canaveral since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. We are gonna launch American astronauts and American rockets from American soil. We're going to do it here in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is a new generation, a new era. In human spaceflight, Well NASA has had us astronauts on the ISS for two decades. Since 2011. It's had to rely on overseas partners to transport its crew as part of the Commercial Crew Program. NASA is partnering with the likes of SpaceX and Boeing to help reduce the cost of space travel, and get more commercial flights into low Earth orbit. For its part SpaceX has been to the ISS 21 times, but this will be the first time it's carried astronauts on board. The Demo 2 launch is set to go ahead on May 27, when SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon capsule atop a falcon nine rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Inside will be NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. They've been training for thousands of hours to prepare for their mission in the new spacecraft, which comes with touchscreens and its own brand new SpaceX spacesuits. So thank you and Hurley, who are both veterans of the shuttle era, launching since Florida again is a real highlight. Now to get the chance to bring it back to the Florida coast and to have it be not our first mission, I think we have a different perspective of the importance of coming to Florida launching again on an American rocket from the Florida coast. And generations of people who maybe didn't get a chance to see a space shuttle launch getting a chance again to see human spaceflight in our own backyard, if you will, is pretty exciting to be a part of not only is this the first crewed SpaceX launch and the first commercial flight to the space station, it's also the first time astronauts have travelled into space. In the height of a global pandemic, but according to SpaceX that's not holding up the launch preparations. Though they are still taking extra care to make sure they don't send sick astronauts into space. We are ensuring that the only central personnel are near them, they're wearing masks and gloves. We're cleaning the training facility twice daily. I think we're really doing a great job to ensure that we are not impacting the safety or the health of the astronauts lives. But the pandemic does mean that the launch of the first SpaceX NASA Flight will be an historically quiet affair. It's been a long road to get here and I don't think either one of us would have predicted that. When we were ready to go fly this mission that we would be dealing with this as well but we just want everybody to be safe. We want everybody to enjoy this and and and relish this moment in US space history but the biggest thing is is we want everyone to just be safe and enjoy it from a distance. If everything goes to plan, banking in early will board the Crew Dragon on May 27 and take off at roughly 4:30 PM Eastern Time. From there, they'll begin their ascent into space before the Falcon nine rocket separates and returns to Earth. The Crew Dragon will continue on to the ISS docking on May 28. The current plan is for Behnken and Hurley to stay in space for at least a month, up to 119 days. Despite all the first, this mission is still a test, so the goal is to see how the Dragon spacecraft performs in space and how it works with the ISS. Benkeny Haley will spend roughly 10 days in quarantine before they take off from Cape Canaveral. And then I'll be off to social isolation of a whole different kind. Ironically the rest of us will have to watch the launch from quarantine here on earth. But for many,this is dark return to space will be a welcome diversion. And finally a reason to look up. [MUSIC]

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