If you’ve been waiting nearly a decade for American astronauts to launch on American soil from an American rocket, today is your day. At 3:22 EDT, NASA and SpaceX will launch SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on a Falcon 9 rocket. The Demo-2 mission is the first time NASA will launch a commercially built spacecraft.
Up until the launch, they are providing a mix of live and pre-recorded insight and interviews on the mission, the astronauts, and more.
Crew Dragon Has Launched!
The Dragon crew succeesfully launched My 30th at 3:22 PM EDT. See the full video leading up to and after the launch. The actual launch starts just after 4:20:00 into the live video feed.
Inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon
In a video from onboard the SpaceX Crew Drragon Spacecraft, astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley provide a tour of the interior and instrumentation, with a reveal of the formal name they chose for the spacecraft and why you saw the stuffed dinosaur floating around after they reached zero-gravity.
Crew Dragon Arrival!
After a successful docking, astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley join the crew aboard the International Space Station. The boarding picks up on the live feed at 3:32:00.
SpaceX and Boeing Spacecraft Compared
Everyday Astronaut has an excellent video showing you how the two commercial ventures will take people into space.
May 27th Attempt
Update: Unfortunately, weather conditions did not cooperate for the May 27th, 4:33 PM EDT launch! The launch was postponed to Saturday, May 30th at 3:22 p.m. EDT. (See above.)
After successfully docking, Behnken and Hurley will be welcomed aboard station and will become members of the Expedition 63 crew. They will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew.
Although the Crew Dragon being used for this flight test can stay in orbit about 110 days, the specific mission duration will be determined once on station based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. The operational Crew Dragon spacecraft will be capable of staying in orbit for at least 210 days as a NASA requirement.
Upon conclusion of the mission, Crew Dragon will autonomously undock with the two astronauts on board, depart the space station and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Upon splashdown just off Florida’s Atlantic Coast, the crew will be picked up at sea by SpaceX’s Go Navigator recovery vessel and return to Cape Canaveral.
Read more about the mission and Launch America here.