First U.S. astronaut launch since 2011 next month

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A SpaceX Falcon heavy rocket stands ready for launch on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2019. The Falcon rocket has a payload military and scientific research satellites. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(CNN) — Next month, human spaceflight will return to U.S. soil after nearly a decade.

NASA announced Friday that Space-X will launch two American astronauts to the International Space Station.

Liftoff is scheduled for May 27 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

It will be the first time a rocket carries astronauts into orbit from the United States since NASA’s space shuttle program retired in 2011.

It will also be the first crewed mission for Space-X since its founding 18 years ago.

Because of COVID-19, spectators will not be allowed to gather at viewing sites or beaches along Florida’s Space Coast.

Only a limited number of reporters will be allowed on site, and NASA says it will not host any members of the public.

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