CEO Elon Musk’s SpaceX is ready to send two American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow (May 27). The mission will end NASA’s nine-year hiatus in crewed spaceflight.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will carry its Falcon 9 rocket and astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken from the same launch platform utilized by NASA’s last space mission. Here is what you should know.
SpaceX’s First Astronaut Mission Will Renew NASA’s Crewed Launch Program
For Elon Musk, SpaceX and NASA, a safe spaceflight would mark a milestone in the quest to develop reusable spacecraft that can make space travel more accessible.
The California-based SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule sending American astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and the Falcon 9 rocket will launch at 4:33 PM EDT (20:33 GMT) on May 27. According to a White House spokesman, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will view the event in person.
“Bob and I have been working on this program for five years, day in and day out. […] that’s what you’d expect to develop a human-rated space vehicle that can go to and from the International Space Station,” explained Hurley. He and Behnken arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Houston last week.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s Administrator, declared the Demo-2 mission a “go” last week and SpaceX officials prepared for final engineering checks.
How to Watch the Event
Tomorrow (May 27), Behnken and Hurley will go to the launch platform almost 3 hours before the liftoff. They’ll be transported in a Tesla Model X that wears NASA’s old logo, “the worm.” The launch will be broadcasted live by SpaceX and NASA.
NASA’s prelaunch coverage of the mission will start at 12:15 PM EST on May 27. The space agency will continue to offer live updates until the astronauts dock with the ISS at 11:30 AM EST on Thursday. You can watch the event on SpaceX’s official YouTube channel or NASA TV.