NASA, SpaceX bringing astronaut launches back to home turf

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — For the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. 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 is running the show.

The curtain rises next Wednesday with the scheduled liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule, with two NASA astronauts bound for the International Space Station.

The drama will unfold at the exact spot at Kennedy Space Center in Florida where men flew to the moon and the last space shuttle soared.

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