KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Sunday marks one year since humans returned to space during the historic SpaceX Demo-2 launch.
On May 30, 2020, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center inside Crew Dragon. The launch happened a few days after their first try was scrubbed due to weather.
Their trip marked the first crewed launch from U.S. soil since 2011.
The pair docked at the International Space Station the next day. Hurley spoke about their ride to orbit and the timing of their mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You know we’ve had the really rough couple of months and just to be able to show the country what the agencies made of, what the Commercial Crew program did and what SpaceX did, I hope they take some pride and a sense of accomplishment from that,” Hurley said.
In August, the pair returned to Earth, marking the first spacecraft splashdown in 45 years.
“The greatest lesson folks can take away from our experience is perseverance,” Benken said.
During a news conference, they talked about their mission.
“The mission went just like the simulators from start to finish all the way there was really surprises,” Hurley said.
Behnken and Hurley paved the way for future exploration. Since Demo-2, Crew-1 and Crew-2 have made their way back to the ISS. Crew-3 is scheduled to launch in October.
NASA is also preparing to return to the moon with the Space Launch System. The space agency is still working on the uncrewed launch of Artemis-I.
Last week, crews stacked the top part of the core stage for the rocket that will be used for Artemis-II, which will mark NASA’s first crewed launch of the SLS.
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