NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley (left) and Robert Behnken (right) prior to the SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 rocket is on the launch pad behind them. (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

“Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon on May 30.

SpaceX controlled the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center; it docked at the International Space Station on May 31. At the conclusion of the mission, Behnken and Hurley will board Crew Dragon, which will then autonomously undock, depart the space station, re-enter Earth’s atmosphere, and splash down off Florida’s Atlantic coast.

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