It’s been a long time since the country that once flew nine crewed missions to the moon has been able to launch even a single human being to space aboard its own rockets from its own soil. Ever since the final flight of the space shuttle in July 2011, the U.S. has been dependent on buying rides aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft—at a current $80 million a seat—if it wants to get as far as low-Earth orbit. All of that is set to change at 4:33 PM EDT on Wednesday May 27, when astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are scheduled to take off aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket, bound for the International Space Station (ISS).
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