The American space agency NASA and its partner SpaceX are on the threshold of creating history. They will undertake a human spaceflight May 27 from American soil to the International Space Station and bring back the days of the space shuttle after nearly a decade. The two astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will liftoff from Florida's Kennedy Space Center and will revive the days of NASA's Space Shuttle program that ended in 2011. This mission is also special for Elon Musk because it will be the first crewed mission for SpaceX since its inception 18 years ago.

CNN says this is an important mission for NASA, SpaceX, and the United States. In view of COVID-19, there would not be any gathering of spectators on the beaches or at vantage points along the coast. This used to be the past practice since the times of Alan Shepard way back in the 1960s because such scenes used to be something new. However, the May 27 event would be a solemn one with only a handful of media persons present on the site. In spite of the Coronavirus and its impact on America, NASA had to go ahead with important projects related to keeping the space station operational.

The NASA-SpaceX tie-up going places

Coronavirus has forced NASA to halt many of its activities, but it had to ensure that activities of the International Space Station did not suffer.

These include ongoing preplanned activities like the return of two of its astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan. They completed their period of stay on the ISS and came back aboard a Russian spacecraft.

The ISS is a skylab where scientists from all over the world work together on various aspects of life in space.

They have been working since 2000, with the United States and Russia in prominent roles. However, in 2011, the days of the space shuttle ended, and Russia took over the responsibility of transporting astronauts to and from the ISS. For this, NASA had to shell out millions of dollars to ferry its astronauts aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.

SpaceX will now take over the responsibility from the Russians.

CNN goes on to mention circumstances that brought together the American space agency and SpaceX created by an entrepreneur Elon Musk. NASA had limited funds, and it wanted to offload part of its work to the private sector. The agency roped in SpaceX and Boeing, but both took a longer time than initially estimated. Ultimately, SpaceX won the race by the successful testing of its Crew Dragon spacecraft. It will now carry out the first mission of an operational crewed flight to the ISS. The two astronauts chosen are Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Both are former military test pilots who possess experience in space shuttle missions. They will spend 110 days in space, and return to Earth in the same Crew Dragon capsule.

SpaceX waits for certification from NASA

According to CNBC, NASA and SpaceX are waiting for the success of sending American astronauts from American soil to the ISS since 2011. It will be the first crewed launch for SpaceX, the space company of Elon Musk. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine explained to a section of the media about the priority for the agency and outlined the need for the US to have that capability. Bridenstine explained about the extra precautions NASA is taking against the backdrop of coronavirus.

While all its centers are under lockdown, a selected group of employees is working on the Commercial Crew program maintaining the aspect of social distancing.

Elon Musk and SpaceX are assets for space research

NASA acknowledges the contribution of SpaceX to the cause of space research. It was the revolutionary concept of reusing rockets—Normally, rockets that propelled the spaceship into outer space used to be single-use types. However, Elon Musk decides to reuse them because it would result in the economy. The reusable rockets of SpaceX have become the new norm.

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