SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft raised into position ahead of upcoming manned mission

NASA and SpaceX will launch the first astronauts from American soil in nearly a decade on May 27 from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. On Thursday, the spacecraft was raised into position, as preparations are underway for liftoff. 

According to NASA, this will be the first crewed mission into orbit from the U.S. since the retirement of the space shuttle program in 2011. Veteran astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket.

The spacecraft arrived at launch pad 39A Kennedy Space Center on Thursday and was raised into a vertical position, sitting on top of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.

spacex crew dragon spacecraft

Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Hurley and Behnken will test the Dragon spacecraft systems for the first time in orbit before beginning their extended stay in space at the International Space Station. When their stay comes to an end, they will make splashdown just off of Florida's Atlantic Coast and the crew will be picked up at sea.

MORE NEWS: Who are the astronauts that will embark on the first manned mission into space in nearly ten years?

If the mission is successful, it will validate SpaceX’s crew transportation system, including the launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, and operational capabilities. This will allow the Crew Dragon spacecraft to complete longer missions, taking the next step in space exploration.

Liftoff time of the manned mission is expected to be at 4:33 p.m. EDT. on May 27.

When the launch happens, you'll be able to watch it live on FOX 35 Orlando.

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