NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters Friday that SpaceX’s plan to carry two astronauts to the International Space Station remains a “priority” for the space agency,media CNET reported. This is a launch mission scheduled for 27 May.
Because of the new crown epidemic, many Americans are working from home. Bridenstine joined the conference call from his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, instead of NASA’s headquarters. Most of the daily life in the United States is now shut down because of the disease caused by the COVID-19 virus. But both SpaceX and NASA say they are planning to put astronauts into orbit from the U.S. mainland since the shuttle program ended in 2011.
The mission, known as Demo-2, will take off from the Kennedy Aspace Center in Florida by NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aboard a manned Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Aspace Space Center in Florida. The two men will fly to the International Space Station, where they will briefly meet the astronauts before returning to Earth on a manned Dragon spacecraft for a demonstration mission.
SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company has been training and working with Hurley and Behnken for years. Shotewell said there is still some work to be done in the next four weeks, including the final parachute test scheduled for late Friday, and she is eager for the launch date.
“I’m a little relieved when they’re on track…. I can’t sleep safely until they get back to Earth safely. “
Bridenstine said the Demo-2 mission is an important step toward the near future, in which NASA and other agencies will greatly expand the human footprint in space. He envisions building several commercial space stations in orbit and a permanent base on the moon. “The moon is the testing ground for the destination, and the destination is, of course, Mars. “