NASA, Space X To Launch Manned Spacecraft Wednesday

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If the weather holds, NASA is expected to launch the first commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft carrying astronauts to the space station at 4:33 this afternoon.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11:39 a.m. Thursday, May 28.

This will be SpaceX’s final test flight for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and will provide critical data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, and landing operations.

The test flight also will provide valuable data toward certification of SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX currently is readying the hardware for the first space station crew rotational mission, which would happen after data from this test flight is reviewed for certification, officials said Tuesday.

Live NASA coverage schedule:

Wednesday, May 27

12:15 p.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins (continues through docking)
4:33 p.m. – Liftoff
5:22 p.m. – Crew Dragon phase burn
6:05 p.m. – Far-field manual flight test
7:05 p.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
7:30 p.m. – Administrator postlaunch news conference at Kennedy

First State Update will stream some of the prelaunch and launch activities for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight today.

 

This test flight is a pivotal point in 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 to the space station for the first time since 2011.

The goal of the Commercial Crew Program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station. This could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration, including preparation for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

For more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Source: NASA

 

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