Update: If you thought you missed the historic NASA from Florida’s Kennedy Space Station on May 27th, you’re in luck! Due to questionable weather conditions, the launch was postponed. NASA and SpaceX have rescheduled the launch for May 30th at 3:22 p.m. EDT. Crossing our fingers (and our toes!) that all goes off without a hitch! If you want to follow the launch, head to the NASA Live webpage or click here.
Originally Published: May 1st, 2020
3, 2, 1, liftoff! It’s been a long time since a NASA astronaut took off for outer space from the United States. Believe it or not, while NASA has been at the forefront of space discovery and advancement, it’s been nearly a decade since an American astronaut has traveled to outer space from somewhere in the United States. That’s not to say, however, that American astronauts haven’t been to space since then. On the contrary!
Since 2011, American astronauts have traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Soyuz, a Russian spacecraft that takes off and lands in Kazakhstan. Yep, American astronauts travel halfway around the world to travel another 254 miles up into outer space. That’s a lot of travel if you ask us! But why a Russian spacecraft and not an American one? Since the NASA Space Shuttle program was retired, there has been no way for American astronauts to travel to outer space, except to “hitch” a ride on the Soyuz. And by hitch a ride, we mean pay approximately $70 million per seat to get NASA astronauts to the ISS. Pricey, we know!
Well, not to worry because things are changing. For the first time in nearly a decade, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will be traveling to the ISS from Florida’s Kennedy Space Station on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Liftoff will be on May 27th at 4:32 pm ET. It’ll be an exciting moment in US history and one that NASA has been waiting for for a long time. Unfortunately, no one will be allowed to watch the launch in person because of COVID-19, but we’re certain millions of people will be glued to their TVs and laptops to watch this historic space moment from afar.
Will you be watching?