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NASA announced Friday that its historic SpaceX launch will take place May 27 of this year at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

The launch marks the first flight of NASA crews from the U.S. since 2011 and the first launch of a rocket owned by a private company: SpaceX, the commercial space company founded by Elon Musk.

The news comes as NASA struggles to maintain a consistent presence on the International Space Station, paying Russia $83 million per seat for a ride to the station, as U.S. shuttles have been retired, according to The Washington Post.

NASA has assigned two of its most experienced astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to the upcoming SpaceX mission. It’s unclear how long the mission will take.

If successful, SpaceX would outpace Boeing, which also has a contract with NASA to fly astronauts to the space station as part of NASA’s “commercial crew program.” 

The launch date is fluid and subject to change, which is common in space travel.

Tags Elon Musk Jim Bridenstine

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