NASA has partnered with SpaceX to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Falcon 9 rocket. The day to accomplish this mission is now closer than ever.
SpaceX announced on May 25 that two US astronauts have completed dress rehearsal prior to their journey to the ISS.
SpaceX and @NASA completed a full rehearsal of launch day activities with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug ahead of Crew Demo-2,” the Elon Musk-led company tweeted.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 23, 2020
The two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will become the first humans to ride onboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9. It will be the first time a NASA mission has launched from the US since the final space shuttle lifted off nine years ago.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch
According to NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Leuders, everything went okay with the pre-launch flight checks, including a full-length static test fire of the Falcon 9’s engines. If successful, the test flight will usher in a new era for NASA and open up commercial space travel. Although, the only hurdle remains to be the weather. It seems that we are looking at 40% favorable for a launch attempt on May 27 at 4.33 PM EDT.
Hans Koenigsmann, VP of Mission Assurance at SpaceX, told the media that there will be “no showstoppers” during the test fire on Friday. He also noted that Friday’s mission will mark the first ever human spaceflight for SpaceX.
NASA and SpaceX will be closely monitoring the weather between now and Wednesday. With the launch being a highly sensitive mission, it’s important that any and all errors are taken care of. There’s another open window for a launch on May 30.
For the launch day, the two astronauts, Behnken and Hurley, will get ready and suited up for four years before arriving at the launch pad 3 hours prior, and get into the Falcon 9 capsule at 2.5 hours before the launch time.
SpaceX is one of the two companies commissioned by NASA to engineer commercial space vehicles to carry astronauts and equipment to the USS.
The SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station is due to lift off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 6:33am (AEST) on Thursday.