The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reportedly announced the launch of a crewed mission that would take off from the US soil next month. This would be the space agency's first manned mission to be launched from the US in the past decade. NASA has previously been using Russian rockets to launch crewed missions into space since 2011.
According to reports, the rocket and spacecraft are scheduled to take off from Kennedy Space Centre on May 27, which will eventually launch two astronauts in the space. Elon Musk’s Space X has reportedly developed both, the rockets and the shuttle and if successful, Space X would become the first private company to send NASA astronauts into space.
The Falcon nine rocket carrying Crew Dragon spacecraft will take off from California based space centre's pad 39A, the same launchpad which was used to launch the iconic Apollo and shuttle missions. The two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley would take nearly 24 hours to reach their destination- the International space station. ISS currently hosts one American and two Russian cosmonauts.
It seems that coronavirus has not deterred NASA employees from continuing their work. According to reports, the entire team of NASA’s Curiosity Rover has started “working remotely” to practice social distancing. Usually based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, according to an official statement, nobody from the Curiosity Rover team has been present there since March 20. It is for the "first time" that the rover’s operations are being monitored and planned with all members working separately at their homes. However, the operations that were executed two days after online planning, resulted in “drilling a rock sample” at a location called “Edinburgh”.
Mars waits for no one.— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 14, 2020
The entire @MarsCuriosity team has joined the rover in working remotely. And like many who now work from home, they’re faced with new challenges not necessarily on the Martian surface. Here’s how they’re making it work: https://t.co/QAJa5OTpa8 pic.twitter.com/GgnJG9fIAE