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WATCH: Pence previews next week’s U.S. return to space

Vice President Mike Pence hosted a preview of the U.S. program that will launch next week to return astronauts to space.

“Welcome to the Launch America edition of the National Space Council,” said Pence Tuesday in Washington.

“We are one week and one day away from when America will return American astronauts on American rockets from American soil to space.”

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.

And for the first time in the history of human spaceflight, a private company, SpaceX, is providing the ride.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

“Even in the midst of a national crisis, NASA stayed on mission and kept doing the work,” said Pence.

“And I have to tell you that it’s going to be a great inspiration to the country next week to see you two go aloft from the Kennedy Space Center.”

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