The first crewed orbital launch from American soil is scheduled to lift off just two months from now, despite the coronavirus outbreak.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting mid- to late May for the launch of Demo-2, which will send agency astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, NASA officials confirmed in a media advisory on Wednesday (March 18).
The flight, which will employ a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. KSC was the jumping-off point for the last homegrown orbital human spaceflight — STS-135, whose July 2011 launch kicked off the final mission of NASA’s space shuttle program. (Suborbital flight is a different story: Virgin Galactic has launched two crewed test missions to suborbital space, in December 2018 and February 2019.)