SpaceX founder Elon Musk (2nd L) addresses the media alongside NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine (L) and astronauts Doug Hurley (2nd R) and Bob Behnken (R), during a press conference at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California in October. Photo: Philip Pacheco/AFP via Getty Images
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Friday that the space agency will send astronauts to the International Space Station on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket on May 27 — the first launch of astronauts from U.S. soil since 2011.
Why it matters: It also marks the first crewed launch for equipment crafted by SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk. "We need access to the International Space Station from the United States of America. ... It's essential for our country to have that capability," Bridenstine told CNBC about the launch earlier this year.