The New Space Race | Spectrum News

American spaceflight is entering a new era, with two astronauts — Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — scheduled to lift off from the U.S. to the space station for the first time in almost a decade. The launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon will also usher in the next phase of the space race: private companies ferrying NASA astronauts. Spectrum News has everything you need to know about the historic flight, from the development of the Crew Dragon to a nationwide LIVE broadcast of the launch from Kennedy Space Center.

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The New Space Race



  • Date: Friday, August 7
  • Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9
  • Mission: Starlink 9 (10th mission)
  • Launch Site: Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center
  • Launch Window: 1:12 a.m. ET
  • Chance of Favorable Weather: 70 percent as of Tuesday, per 45th Space Wing
(Man and child watching Delta IV rocket launch)

From Port Canaveral to the Indian River Lagoon to the beaches, there are many easy-to-access sites along the Space Coast to watch Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral rocket launches. Florida's Space Coast has a great list of more than a dozen rocket launch viewing sites, with descriptions and maps. Check it out here!


  • Date: No Earlier Than September 2020
  • Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9
  • Mission: Crew-1 Mission to ISS
  • Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Launch Pad 39A
  • Launch Window: TBD
  • Date: TBA; originally scheduled for end of March but was postponed due to pandemic concerns
  • Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9
  • Mission: SAOCOM 1B, an Argentine satellite
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBD
  • Date: TBD
  • Vehicle: ULA Altas V
  • Mission: Boeing Starliner crew capsule flight test to ISS (with 2 crew members aboard)
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBA
  • Date: December 2020
  • Vehicle: ULA Altas V
  • Mission: NASA GOES-T Weather Satellite
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBA

(Sources: SpaceX, NASA, United Launch Alliance, 45th Space Wing, Boeing, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Lockheed Martin)

Space shuttle Atlantis retired to Kennedy Space Center

ATLANTIS: Kennedy Space Center

  • Space shuttle Atlantis launched on its last mission at 11:29 a.m. July 8, 2011.
  • The shuttle program ended with the landing of Atlantis on Thursday, July 21 at 5:57 a.m.
  • Atlantis was NASA's fourth space shuttle orbiter to join the fleet.
Retired space shuttle Endeavour arrives at its new home in California

ENDEAVOUR: California Science Center, Los Angeles

  • Space shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission Monday, May 16, 2011.
  • After a journey of 6.5 million miles, the orbiter landed for the final time at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, June 1, 2011.
Retired space shuttle Discovery

DISCOVERY: Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

  • Discovery was NASA's reliable workhorse, spending more than a quarter century carrying crews, satellites and space station parts.
  • In 1990, Discovery carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit.
  • Final flight: Feb. 24, 2011.
Prototype space shuttle Enterprise arrives in New York City for its retirement

ENTERPRISE: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City

  • Enterprise was a prototype shuttle, rolling out of a California assembly facility on Sept. 17, 1976. After its success, Columbia became the 1st shuttle in space.
  • It was originally to be named Constitution, but a write-in campaign by fans of the TV show Star Trek got it renamed.

SOURCES: Information and images on this page are from NASA, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX.