Today (May 27th, 2020) at 4:32pm from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will board the SpaceX's Crew Dragon Spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket, with a mission to carry the first US Astronauts to the International Space Station since the grounding of the Space craft in 2011. SpaceX has sent 21 uncrewed rockets to the ISS over the past 10 years for supplies, cargo and equipment, but today changes with the first crewed launch.
This mission (Demo-2) will be the final validation test of SpaceX's rocket system, validating all aspects of the SpaceX program including the launch pad, Crew Dragon Spacecraft, Falcon 9 launch capabilities and human/spacecraft operational systems in orbit.
Over the past 9 years, the US has had to purchase seats upon Russian spacecrafts in upwards of millions of dollars to ensure US presence at the International Space Station. Today marks the day that the United States, in collaboration with a public company, returns to the skies with complete control over our involvement in the space race, and the beginning of the Artemis program to land the next man and first woman on the Lunar Surface in 2024 with sights on landing the first man or woman on Mars.
This will also serve as a bittersweet moment as Hurley was a part of the last American Space Flight Crew (mission STS-135) of the spacecraft Atlantis to the ISS before the United States retired its American Space Craft.
**UPDATE** This launch was scrubbed because of weather and is pending a new launch on Saturday May 30th at 3:22pm.
**UPDATE UPDATE** This launch was successful and both astronauts made it to the International Space Station safe and sound.