July 29, 2021

SpaceX and NASA Are Set for a Historic Crewed Launch This Week. Here’s How to Watch

It’s been a long time since the country that once flew nine crewed missions to the moon has been able to launch even a single human being to space aboard its own rockets from its own soil. Ever since the final flight of the space shuttle in July 2011, the U.S. has been dependent on buying rides aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft—at a current $80 million a seat—if it wants to get as far as low-Earth orbit.

All of that is set to change at 4:33 PM EDT on Wednesday May 27, when astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are scheduled to take off aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket, bound for the International Space Station (ISS). Both astronauts are veterans of two previous shuttle flights, and Hurley, fittingly, was one of the crew members aboard the final shuttle mission. If all goes to plan, the crew will reach orbit just 12 minutes after launch, and will dock with the station before noon the following morning. TIME has a team on the ground reporting from Cape Canaveral; you can watch the launch above.

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