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NASA astronauts go back to the future with capsule launch

SpaceX Crew Capsule
Posted at 11:08 AM, May 25, 2020

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — It's back to the future as NASA astronauts launch again from the U.S. — aboard a retro-style "Right Stuff' capsule. SpaceX's sleek, new Dragon crew capsule outshines NASA's old Apollo spacecraft in virtually every way.

The Dragon's clean lines and minimalist interior, with touchscreens instead of scores of switches and knobs, make the space shuttles seem more yesteryear. This fresh take on a vintage look will be on full display Wednesday when SpaceX plans to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

The duo promise to reveal the name they've chosen for their capsule on launch day.

The first astronauts launched by SpaceX are also breaking new ground for style with hip spacesuits. The color coordinating — white with black trim — is thanks to Elon Musk, the driving force behind both SpaceX and Tesla. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken like the new look.

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. It'll 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.