Trump says may attend SpaceX manned rocket launch

U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement to reporters about reopening U.S. places of worship by declaring them

The mission passed its flight readiness review, according to Jim Bridenstine, the space agency's administrator on Twitter.

Together, they will end a nine-year drought for NASA when they blast into orbit next week from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

NASA has now selected Behnken and Hurley due to their extensive test pilot and flight experience, being both are veterans of two space shuttle missions.

The rocket will accelerate to a speed of approximately 17,000 miles per hour, according to NASA. And NASA's effort to restore human spaceflight from USA soil, under the agency's Commercial Crew Program, has suffered years of delays and setbacks.

"A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin", NASA said in a statement.

If next week's Crew Dragon mission - baptized Demo-2 - is successful SpaceX will be the first private company ever to deliver astronauts to the ISS. Crippen and the late John Young rode NASA's first space shuttle, Columbia, into orbit on April 12, 1981. That was the final flight of the Space Shuttle program and occurred in July of 2011.

When is the SpaceX Dragon launch?

In spaceflight, there never are. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that wasn't easy.

"We're not going to rush", she said.

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Being married to an astronaut, both men acknowledged, has made it easier in the unexpectedly long run-up to their SpaceX flight. So, up until the astronauts arrived at Kennedy on May 20, they could quarantine with their families. The pandemic slashed the rest of their guest lists.

Behnken noted that it's been a "silver lining" that he and Hurley have had "the time with our sons leading up to this launch", he said during today's remarks.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

Hurley considers a capsule a safe, "pretty tried and true" design.

President Donald Trump said he will attend the historic NASA and SpaceX launch at Kennedy Space Center next week, local outlet WESH2 reported. The New York native was born in Endicott but considers Apalachin his hometown.

In this March 4, 2019 photo, the uncrewed SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station's Harmony module. Three initial failed launches threatened to put SpaceX out of business except NASA stuck with the startup and now it's getting a lift itself.

Last month, Boeing said it would conduct a second test flight, without crew, of its CST-100 Starliner vehicle after the first attempt in December was cut short by software problems. "But I think we also realized the bigger picture".

Behnken will be the joint operations commander for the mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous, docking and undocking, as well as Demo-2 activities while the spacecraft is docked to the space station. Upon splashdown just off Florida's Atlantic Coast, the crew will be picked up at sea by SpaceX's Go Navigator recovery vessel and return to Cape Canaveral. And the launch will mark the first time American astronauts pilot an American-made spacecraft launched from USA soil since NASA's Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

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