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President Trump may also attend the launch, officials said.
The mission will be the final test for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft before it enters regular service. It will also mark the first time astronauts launch into orbit aboard a private company’s spacecraft, and it will also be the first launch of American astronauts in an American-made spacecraft since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.
“I know how important the space enterprise is here in the history of Florida,” Pence said during another visit to the state Wednesday. “And I want to tell you, President Trump and I know the history of space that will be written is going to be greater still.”
Gov. Rick DeSantis said “the big guy” may also be on hand for the launch.
“He’s been a great advocate for the space industry, in terms of NASA and also the private sector,” he said. “That’s been a huge driver here in the state of Florida. They continue to do good things even through this pandemic and will continue going forward.”
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will launch on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets and pilot the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, where they will remain for an as-yet-unspecified amount of time.
Both astronauts are veterans of NASA’s Space Shuttle program who are now serving in the Commercial Crew Program, the agency’s partnership with private businesses, including SpaceX.
The launch is scheduled for May 27.
NASA officials are planning to send people to the surface of the moon in 2024 as part of the public-private partnerships.
Kristin Fisher of Fox News contributed to this report.