SpaceX’s historic first astronaut launch for NASA is now set to liftoff today (May 30).In the early afternoon on Saturday, May 30, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will (hopefully) blast off from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Liftoff is set for 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX’s historic 1st Demo-2 Sunday, May 31
10:29 a.m. – Docking
12:45 p.m. – Hatch Open
1:05 p.m. – Welcome ceremony
3:15 p.m. – Post-arrival news conference at Johnson
How will the launch happen?
The mission is set to be the first time a private company sends humans into orbit – and the first time since 2011 that the United States has launched astronauts into space from U.S. soil. Wednesday’s scrubbed launch drew crowds that braved drizzles and downpours – even a tornado warning.
The astronauts will be launched to the ISS as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program on the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from the historic Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US. The astronauts will go to the ISS for an extended stay, planned to last more than a month. A specific duration is yet to be determined. This is the final major test for SpaceX’s crew transportation system, including the launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, and operational capabilities, for operational crew missions to and from the ISS. Also, this will be the first time that the astronauts will be testing the spacecraft systems in orbit.
Crew Dragon will have to attain the speed for about 27,000km per hour in order to intercept the ISS. The spacecraft can dock with the ISS autonomously but astronauts will be monitoring the process. After docking, they will enter the ISS and conduct research and tests along will other tasks. After the job is done, Crew Dragon will autonomously undock and enter back into Earth’s atmosphere. The trunk of the spacecraft will detach from the upper conical portion housing the astronauts and burnup in the atmosphere. The remaining spacecraft will endure temperatures of 1,600 degrees Celsius and splashdown in the sea near Florida.