Electric Vehicles

NASA chooses a Tesla Model X to transport astronauts to new SpaceX mission

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted this photo on May 13 featuring the Model X at Kennedy Space Center.

Photo courtesy of Jim Bridenstine, Twitter

On May 27, crewed spaceflight will return to American soil for the first time in a decade. To get astronauts around Kennedy Space Center, where liftoff is set to take place, NASA has chosen to drive them in a Tesla Model X SUV.

On May 13, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted four photos of a Model X with a Florida license plate wearing NASA branding in front of the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Horizontal Integration Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX is an American aerospace company founded in 2002 by Tesla founder Elon Musk.

NASA's Tesla Model X Demo-2 Transporter

Photo courtesy of Jim Bridenstine, Twitter

Astronauts Col. Bob Behnken and Col. Doug Hurley will be aboard the Model X when it takes them to the launchpad. Behnken will serve as Joint Operation Commander and Hurley's role is Spacecraft Commander. Hurley was last in orbit in 2011 on NASA's final shuttle mission aboard Atlantis.

Atlantis is now retired and on display at Kennedy Space Center.

The Demo-2 mission will mark the first crewed launch SpaceX has ever performed. The mission is a joint operation between NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing and designed to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). For the much of the Obama and Trump administrations, NASA has relied on Russian spacecrafts for transport to and from the ISS.

Though it's the first crewed craft in the partnership, SpaceX brings a fair amount of experience to the table. The SpaceX Crew Dragon that the Demo-2 crew will be transported in is a version of the Dragon 2 capsule that SpaceX has used to successfully bring cargo to and from the ISS. The Crew Dragon can carry up to seven passengers, just like the Model X.

The Crew Dragon will not be relying solely on electric power for its flight. However, the mission is set to be more sustainable than other crewed journeys. SpaceX will attempt to land the Falcon 9 booster rocker that will propel the capsule into space on a drone ship that is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The company has practiced and successfully achieved this task several times.

Launch coverage of the event will be streamed by NASA starting at 12:15 p.m. ET on May 27. Whether or not the Model X will play a starring role has yet to be seen.

NASA and SpaceX prepare to #LaunchAmerica www.youtube.com

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WWE logos are shown on screens before a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

They're used to taking it to the mat, but this autumn, the stars of the WWE will be taking to the internet as part of a partnership with Hyundai to produce a 10-episode video series that features storytelling centered around the passion for enriching people's lives. "Drive For Better" will appear on WWE's digital platforms throughout the second half of the year.

"As an official sponsor of WWE, we are excited to be working together to share the personal stories of the Superstars and help put a smile on people's faces," said Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America. "We both believe everyone deserves better and this series is representative of that."

"WWE and Hyundai's shared passion for supporting local communities truly makes this a rewarding partnership," said John Brody, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sales & Partnerships, WWE. "We are extremely grateful to Hyundai for their commitment and hope this series will inspire people across the country at a time when it's needed most."

The first episode of the series features WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and his recent virtual visit with patients at the Children's Hospital of Orange County. It debuted in July and is posted on WWE's digital platforms and the Superstars' social media channels along with other episodes in the series.

The series is part of a larger partnership between Hyundai and WWE. The two brands have delivered custom content integrations across WWE's global media platforms throughout 2020. Hyundai is also the Co-Presenting Partner of WWE Clash of Champions on Sunday, September 27 and will receive weekly exposure in Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown programming throughout the month of September.

In addition to the episodic programming, the partnership will work to promote Hyundai Hope On Wheels during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Hyundai Hope on Wheels is a charitable organization that recently provided millions of dollars in grants to aid with COVID-19 testing.

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