5 things to look out for in the week ahead

Here are the top things to look out for during the week ahead.


A holiday weekend is kicking off this week as the country reflects on those who have lost their lives.

Here are the top things to look out for during the week ahead.

1. Memorial Day

Memorial Day, a day honoring American soldiers who died serving the country in wars. It is observed annually in the U.S. on the last Monday in May.

After weeks of being holed up with stay-at-home orders because of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans in all 50 states have seen their restrictions loosened to varying degrees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people stay home, avoid crowds and connect with family and friends by phone or video chat.

Social distancing and bans on mass gatherings remain in place throughout much of the country.

Many Memorial Day commemorations have been canceled or downsized, including concerts and fireworks shows.

2. SpaceX rocket slated to launch

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will make history later this month: On their next mission, slated to take off Wednesday, they will be the first crew to fly in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

The flight will mark several firsts: The first time astronauts have flown to the International Space Station from US soil since NASA retired the Space Shuttle Program in 2011; the first-ever crewed mission for privately owned SpaceX in the company’s 18-year history; and the first time since 1981 that NASA astronauts will ride aboard a newly-designed spacecraft.

3. Israel's prime minister goes on trial

After entering the record books last year as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will once again make history when he becomes the country’s first sitting leader to go on trial.

Surrounded by security guards, Netanyahu is set to march into Jerusalem district court for arraignment on a series of corruption charges on Sunday. The stunning scene will push Israel into uncharted political and legal territory, launching a process that could ultimately end the career of a leader who has been undefeatable at the ballot box for over a decade.

4. Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit plans first space launch

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit is targeting the coming weekend for its first attempt to launch a demonstration payload into space aboard a rocket released from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747.

The air launch is scheduled for Sunday off the coast of Southern California and will only proceed if conditions are satisfactory, the company said Wednesday.

Headquartered in Long Beach, Virgin Orbit is a sister company to Virgin Galactic, which is preparing to carry tourists on suborbital flights high over New Mexico.

Virgin Orbit’s system will be capable of launching small satellites into space from locations around the world.

5. Commencements mark new era for graduates

Commencement speakers are addressing a rare way students are ending their time in college. Reflections for high school students have already been incorporating virtual reflections with celebrities and leaders, and those entering the workforce will face challenges and circumstances that most people have never experienced.

CNN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.