Press Release

Media Invited to Interview Local NASA Ames Leadership About SpaceX Commercial Crew Test Flight with Astronauts

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2020
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NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley invites members of the media on Wednesday, May 27, to interview Ames leadership about the historic launch of astronauts aboard a SpaceX flight to the International Space Station. 


Ames Center Director Eugene Tu will be available for scheduled video interviews between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. PDT on Wednesday. Tu will discuss the new era in human spaceflight and Ames’ contributions to getting humans to space and home again safely.


NASA and SpaceX are targeting 1:33 p.m. PDT for the launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 test flight from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. This will be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft will carry humans to the space station. These activities are a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011. 


The launch, as well as other activities leading up to the launch, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.


With essential support from NASA centers across the country, public-private partnerships are making a new way of accessing space possible. NASA provides the space industry with critical expertise, research and testing to ensure rockets and spacecraft are safe and reliable.


Ames made key technical contributions to ensure NASA’s Commercial Crew Program missions, including SpaceX’s Crew Dragon flights, will be safe from launch to return. Ames researchers invented the original version of the heat shield material used for the Dragon spacecraft, transferred the technology to SpaceX, and performed testing in the Ames arc jet facilities, which simulate the high speed and heat of reentering the atmosphere. Ames also conducted aerodynamic tests with the center’s wind tunnel facilities and experts for the mission’s launch abort system, and provided additional engineering support.


Members of the news media who are interested in an interview should reserve an interview slot by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, by contacting the Ames newsroom at 650-604-4789 or by email at:


A video resource reel will be made available upon request.


For more information about the launch, visit:


For more information about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.