SpaceX: First U.S. Crewed Flight since 2011 Space Shuttle, Mission Control Social Distancing

www.newscientist.com

A new era of manned space-flight is about to begin. SpaceX and NASA are to launch astronauts from the US on May 27 for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle program. Since 2011 all U.S. astronauts have flown into space on Russian craft.

This will be the first time astronauts are sent to space on a commercial spacecraft. That means that nearly everything about this mission is new, including the touchscreen-laden spacecraft (like Teslas?), the sleek white space suits, and the life support systems. “As far as the toilet, we’ll let you know how it works out" said Douglas Hurley, one of the two NASA astronauts who will join the mission.

Launch day for the astronauts will be similar to their previous launches aboard the Space Shuttle, but it will be different for everyone else. All of the NASA and SpaceX control rooms have been reorganized so that the desks are six feet away from one another to allow the mission’s support staff to maintain social distancing protocols.

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