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Updated 5/21/2020 12:53 PM

On May 27, NASA astronauts are set to blast into orbit from home turf on a private company's rocket - a first since the end of the space shuttle era in 2011.

The AP will staff the launch in all formats from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Due to the pandemic, the number of media allowed at Kennedy Space Center has been limited, and press briefings are being held remotely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The AP plans the following coverage. All times Eastern. For up-to-the minute information on AP's coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org

THURSDAY, MAY 21


HOME LAUNCH-PREVIEW: For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts are about to blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil. And for the first time in the history of human spaceflight, a private company -- SpaceX -- is providing the ride. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video.

FRIDAY, MAY 22

HOME LAUNCH-SPECTATORS: In ordinary times, the beaches and roads along Florida's Space Coast would be packed with spectators eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years. In the age of coronavirus, local officials are mulling if that's possible and NASA wants everyone to stay away. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 1 a.m.

HOME LAUNCH-TEST PILOTS: The two NASA astronauts who will fly SpaceX's brand new rocketship are classmates and friends, veteran spacefliers married to veteran spacefliers, and fathers of young sons. They are NASA's first test pilot crew in decades. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, video by 10 a.m.; developing from 2:15 p.m. news conference.

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SATURDAY, MAY 23

HOME LAUNCH-SPACEX: A look at SpaceX, one of two private space companies that NASA hired to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station from home turf. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 9 a.m.

SUNDAY, MAY 24

HOME LAUNCH-SPACE STYLE: The first astronauts launched by SpaceX will break new ground for style with Tesla roadsters, color-coordinated space capsules and rockets, and sleek spacesuits. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 a.m.

MONDAY, MAY 25

HOME LAUNCH-CAPSULE: Cape Canaveral's last capsule launch with a crew was 45 years ago. SpaceX's flashy, new Dragon capsule outshines the old Apollo spacecraft in virtually every way. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 1 a.m.

HOME LAUNCH: Spot coverage of briefings by NASA and SpaceX, two days before launch. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos, video; developing from news conference TBD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

TUESDAY, MAY 26

HOME LAUNCH: On eve of launch, spot coverage of countdown clock briefing with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos, video; developing from 10 a.m. news conference.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

HOME LAUNCH: Spot coverage of SpaceX launch, the first launch of NASA astronauts from the U.S. in nine years. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos, live video; developing from 4:33 p.m. launch.

With HOME LAUNCH-LATEST; HOME LAUNCH-ASTRONAUTS BOX; HOME LAUNCH-SPECTATORS (with video)

THURSDAY, MAY 28

HOME LAUNCH-DOCKING: Spot coverage of capsule docking at International Space Station. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos, video; developing from 11:29 a.m. docking.

FRIDAY, MAY 29

HOME LAUNCH-SPACE STATION: Spot coverage of interviews aboard the International Space Station. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos, video; developing from 11:05 a.m. news conference.

SATURDAY, MAY 30

HOME LAUNCH-COMMERCIAL FUTURE: SpaceX's debut astronaut launch would be the biggest, most visible opening shot yet in NASA's grand plan for commercializing Earth's backyard. Private astronauts, commercial space stations, space tourists and hotels: This is the future NASA is striving to shape as it eases out of low-Earth orbit and aims for the moon and Mars. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 10 a.m.

PREVIOUSLY MOVED:


HOME LAUNCH-ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE: The two astronauts who will end a nine-year launch drought for NASA arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, exactly one week before their historic SpaceX flight. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.

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