SpaceX and NASA plan to launch astronauts into orbit for the first time since 2011 next week. President Donald Trump has indicated he wants to witness the launch.
Trump told reporters on Thursday that he may go to Florida to watch the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which will carry two NASA astronauts, CBS News reports.
President Trump says he's "thinking" about going to the SpaceX rocket launch next week and tells reporters, "I'd like to put you on the rocket and get rid of you for a while" https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/eNIIS3Jgox— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 21, 2020
The test flight is scheduled for takeoff on May 27, according to Space.com, a website focussed on astronomy and space exploration.
While on his way to Michigan to visit a Ford Motor Company F plant, Trump said jokingly to reporters, “I’m thinking about going. That'll be next week, to the rocket launch. I hope you're all going to join me.” Adding, “I'd like to put you all on the rocket and get rid of you for awhile.”
Why It Matters
According to space.com, SpaceX’s Demo-2 Mission will carry Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the Crew Dragon on a month-long mission to the International Space Station.
The Demo-2 Mission is the first crewed flight that SpaceX is undertaking under a multibillion-dollar contract to ferry astronauts to the station for NASA.
Since NASA retired its space shuttles, it has not flown a manned mission from Florida, using Russia’s Soyuz rockets to carry astronauts into space instead. The space agency is paying $90 million to Russia's space agency for a seat on a launch later in 2020.
NASA’s contracts with SpaceX and Boeing Co. BA are aimed at reducing costs and boosting the space industry in the United States.
Trump has mandated NASA to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024.
Image Credit: Courtesy of SpaceX.
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