March launch date targeted by NASA, SpaceX for new capsule

March launch date targeted by NASA, SpaceX for new capsule
© UPI Photo

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting March to launch their new capsule, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Officials reportedly set March 2 as the launch date.

The Dragon, designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station, will have no one on board for its initial test flight.

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If the test is successful, two NASA astronauts will take a test flight in July, according to the AP.

The U.S. has not launched astronauts from American soil since NASA canceled their shuttle program in 2011.

In the interim, astronauts have had to ride Russian rockets. Each seat on those launches has reportedly cost NASA $82 million.

NASA has partnered with SpaceX and Boeing to develop a commercial crew program.

Boeing is to test its Starliner capsule without a crew in April, with the goal of a manned mission in August, AP said.