NASA and SpaceX launch announced: First manned Dragon flight to ISS will blast off in May

What is the Commercial Crew Programme?

In a bid to cut costs and return manned spaceflight to US soil, NASA has partnered with SpaceX and Boeing to deliver NASA-certified orbital launch platforms.

Since the space shuttle’s last mission on July 8, 2011, NASA has paid for seats on Russian Soyuz rockets to send astronauts into space.

But with SpaceX and Boeing in the fray, the two aerospace companies are developing launch vehicles that will drastically reduce the cost of manned spaceflight.

SpaceX has already proven its reliability under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS), which is a series of cargo resupply missions to the space station.

Each CRS sees SpaceX launch a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule into space.

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