NASA and SpaceX announced on Wednesday they will launch the first test of their Dragon capsule on March 2. Dragon, built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, will be the first commercially made spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. Boeing has also developed a space capsule for carrying astronauts and will similarly test their un-crewed capsule Orbital Flight Test in April at the earliest. NASA called these un-crewed tests “dress rehearsals” for the next step of launching privately developed spacecraft with astronauts aboard. If all goes well, two astronauts will launch into space on Dragon in July. This will be the first time astronauts go into space from American soil since NASA’s shuttle program was shuttered in 2011.
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