clearn.png
Sunday May 31st, 2020 6:25AM

Trump to attend Wednesday's NASA astronaut launch in Florida

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

STERLING, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to be on the Florida coast Wednesday to watch American astronauts blast into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center for the first time in nearly a decade.

It will be the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011 that U.S. astronauts will launch into space aboard an American rocket from American soil.

Also new Wednesday: a private company — not NASA — is running the show.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the conductor and NASA the customer as businesses begin chauffeuring astronauts to the International Space Station. With American shuttles no longer in use, the United States has had to rely on Russia for rides to the station.

The NASA/SpaceX Commercial Crew flight test launch will carry NASA’s newest test pilots, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

They're scheduled to blast off at 4:33 p.m. EDT from launch pad 39A, the same one the Apollo astronauts used to get to the moon.

The shift to private companies allows NASA to zero in on deep space travel. The space agency is working to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 under orders from the White House, but that deadline appears increasingly unlikely even as three newly chosen commercial teams rush to develop lunar landers. Mars also beckons.

The White House portrayed the launch as an extension of Trump's promise to reassert American dominance in space. He recently oversaw creation of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

“Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security," Trump said in a statement.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is chairman of the National Space Council, also plans to attend Wednesday's launch.

NASA has discouraged spectators, citing the pandemic, and is limiting the number of visitors inside the space center.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

___

This story has been corrected to reflect that it's been nearly a decade, not more than a decade, since American astronauts were launched into space.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump to attend Wednesday's NASA astronaut launch in Florida
The White House says President Donald Trump will be on the Florida coast Wednesday to watch American astronauts blast into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center
11:53AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Fire destroys warehouse on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf
A fire broke out before dawn on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and destroyed a warehouse
11:48AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Omar describes life as a fearless fighter in new memoir
In her new memoir, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar offers her own spin on her path to prominence, starting with her childhood in Somalia
11:39AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Virus, economy, Trump and cash hamper GOP's bid for House
Republicans are trying to use the $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill that Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through the House as a weapon in this November's elections
10:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Time running out on the last US-Russia nuclear arms treaty
Time is running out on an arms control treaty that, if it's allowed to expire, will leave the world with no legal restrictions on U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly half a century
8:54AM ( 3 hours ago )
Trump's disconnect with DC widens during viral pandemic
As a candidate for the White House, Donald Trump once said he wanted “whatever is best” for the residents of the nation’s capital
1:38AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Asia Today: 23 new cases in South Korea, none in China
South Korea has reported 23 new cases of the coronavirus, mostly from the densely populated Seoul area where authorities shut down thousands of nightclubs, bars and karaoke rooms in a desperate attempt to stem transmissions
11:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: France health minister: Limits on malaria drug
France’s health minister wants to limit use of a malaria drug as a coronavirus treatment after a new study found it ineffective and warned of increased health risks
10:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
Alabama coronavirus outlook worsening amid state reopening
Health officials are worried that Alabama's coronavirus caseload is increasing and residents aren't guarding against COVID-19 as it opens its casinos, church and more
9:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Fire destroys warehouse on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf
A fire broke out before dawn on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and destroyed a warehouse
11:48AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Omar describes life as a fearless fighter in new memoir
In her new memoir, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar offers her own spin on her path to prominence, starting with her childhood in Somalia
11:39AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Zero cases in China as virus surges in Latin America, India
New coronavirus cases have dropped to zero in China for the first time but are surging in India
11:23AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Density, poverty keep Los Angeles struggling against virus
While most of California took another step forward to partly reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles County didn't join the party
11:12AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Column: Sloan, other coaching greats who were denied a title
Jerry Sloan was undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in NBA history
11:07AM ( 1 hour ago )