NASA is targeting late September for the launch of the first operational commercial crew flight of a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station.
Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker — all of NASA — along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi will launch on the SpaceX Crew-1 mission, the US space agency said on Wednesday.
The Crew-1 mission will be launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SpaceX in late May created history when it sent two NASA astronauts to the space station in a test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, called the Demo-2.
That spacecraft that carried two NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the ISS is set to depart the orbiting laboratory on August 1 and reach Earth on August 2, marking the end of the first crewed mission test for the Elon Musk-led company.
The launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission will follow a successful return of the two astronauts from the space station and evaluation of SpaceX Demo-2 test flight.