SpaceX and NASA to launch first manned flight in nine years

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Both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will be in attendance to watch the launch in person.

Today's SpaceX Mission has been scrubbed due to weather.

And while SpaceX regularly puts satellites into orbit, this is the first time it will have taken people above the atmosphere.

SpaceX has designed the Crew Dragon space capsule and Falcon 9 rocket to be used for Wednesday's launch.

The move by NASA to invest in privately-developed spacecraft - a more economic proposition than spending tens of billions of dollars developing such systems itself, as it had done for decades - was started under the presidency of George W. Bush for cargo, and later under Barack Obama for human flight.

This will be the first-ever crewed spaceflight for SpaceX, and it will also make history as the first US -based human rocket launch since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

NASA stopped building its own shuttles almost 10 years ago and officials say they're ready to be customers of private companies, with Musk's business being the first example.

"SpaceX had the luxury of picking the best lessons learned from NASA and the private sector". On the other side of the double-edged sword, if things go south, it's hard to exaggerate the scale of the setback and road to retribution that would face the pioneering spaceflight company. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences won the first such round of cargo contracts, and, after a successful program, NASA awarded crew-launch contracts to SpaceX and Boeing. The astronauts also have their own touch-screen monitors, nearly identical to the monitors inside the vehicles made by SpaceX's sister company, Tesla.

We are once again launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. These monitors help the astronauts control the mechanics of the spacecraft and navigate their way to the ISS.

A mock-up of the Crew Dragon capsule outside the SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles.

This April, the astronauts were able to climb inside their Crew Dragon capsule and run through procedures including making sure their spacesuits wouldn't leak during the flight and checking the display monitors.

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Falcon 9 B1058 and Crew Dragon C206 are set for their inaugural astronaut launch.

It looks entirely different to the enormous space shuttles, huge winged vehicles that carried astronauts into space from USA soil from 1981 to 2011.

NASA has selected both firms to help stimulate a marketplace in the United States for going to space.

After years of serving in the U.S. Marine Corps as a test pilot, NASA selected Hurley as an astronaut candidate in 2000.

Hurley joined NASA in 2000 as part of an astronaut class that called themselves the Bugs, after the Y2K computer glitch of that year.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley will launch to the International Space Station on the Demo-2 mission.

The Crew Dragon is noticeably more sleek than any of the more functional-looking crewed vehicles used by Russian Federation or NASA.

The uncrewed SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft became the first Commercial Crew vehicle to visit the International Space Station in March 2019 during NASA's SpaceX Demo-1 mission.

In press briefings, Behnken and Hurley said they'd been tested twice for COVID-19 and expected to be tested one final time before launch.

Bridenstine said in a social media statement just after noon that "we are a go for launch!" So stay tuned, because the private space race is ramping up.

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