SpaceX and Boeing have announced that they are on track to launch the first manned test flight from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station in 2017. SpaceX (the brain child of manufacturing maven Elon Musk) and Boeing were selected last September to transport astronauts to the space station.
Once operational, SpaceX and Boeing will be the first company to run manned launches since the retirement of NASA’s space shuttles in 2011.
The launch program is expected to boost Central Florida's commercial space growth as Boeing brings spacecraft manufacturing to the region for the first time. The move is expected to lure other aerospace-related companies to Florida's east coast.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule will be able to carry five astronauts to the International Space Station at any one time. Boeing's first flight will include one test pilot and one NASA astronaut.