The historic SpaceX NASA launch is almost here. The launch was scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, May 27 but it has been delayed until Saturday. The countdown was scrubbed just inside of 17 minutes because weather wasn’t favorable for a launch, but then the launch successfully occurred on Saturday.
The launch successfully took place Saturday, May 30, at 3:22 p.m. Eastern. You can see photos and videos of the launch here. A live stream that’s still running is below.
Read on to see the original story below.
The Launch Was Scrubbed on Wednesday & Was Successful on Saturday
The historic NASA SpaceX launch was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, May 27, at 4:33 p.m. Eastern in Florida but it had to be delayed because of three weather violations requiring the launch to be scrubbed.
This is standard procedure for launches and, NASA said, it’s nothing to worry about. Launches periodically get scrubbed due to weather not behaving and it’s even more important to do so for astronauts’ safety.
A new countdown can be seen here or below. This countdown timer is based on the time released by NASA predicting a 3:22 p.m. Eastern launch on Saturday, May 30.
Some YouTube channels have helpfully provided live coverage about the launch that’s still updating after the launch was scrubbed. You can see one below from NASA.
A NASA representative later shared that three conditions were violated, necessitating scrubbing the launch on Wednesday. These were natural lightning, the field mills, and the attached anvil. The weather would have cleared in 10 minutes, but today was an “instantaneous launch” due to necessary orbital mechanics that would allow the spacecraft to get to the space station on time.
Watch More Live Streams Below
More live streams are below. This next one from SpaceX has a countdown on it from time to time.
And here’s a mission control audio stream from SpaceX:
Here’s a feed from NBC News:
The weather was given a 60% chance of holding and being favorable for Wednesday’s launch on Tuesday, but favorability decreased over time until it was scrubbed.
With one day to go, the weather forecast for SpaceX Demo-2 has improved to 60% GO for launch on May 27.
This also gives the first look at the forecast for the back-up launch day (Saturday, May 30), which is 70% GO for launch. pic.twitter.com/kM67sHuRLe
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) May 26, 2020
More Details About the Launch
NASA shared what we can expect to happen after liftoff and the anticipated launch.
Saturday, May 30
- 11 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins (continues through docking)
- 3:22 p.m. – Liftoff
- 4:09 p.m. – Crew Dragon phase burn
- 4:55 p.m. – Far-field manual flight test
- 5:55 p.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
- 6:30 p.m. – Postlaunch news conference at Kennedy
- Administrator Bridenstine
- Kathy Lueders, manager, NASA Commercial Crew Program
- SpaceX representative
- Kirk Shireman, manager, International Space Station Program
- NASA Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester
This test flight is an important step in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, whose goal is to ultimately provide safe transportation to and from the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A in Florida for an extended stay at the space station for the Demo-2 mission. This is the final test flight for SpaceX and the first time NASA astronauts test the system in orbit.
After the Crew Dragon lifts off, it will accelerate the astronauts to 17,000 mph to intercept with the International Space Station, NASA shared. Once in orbit, the crew will verify that the Crew Dragon is performing correctly through maneuvering thrusters and performing other tests. After about 24 hours, the Crew Dragon will dock with the space station. After docking, the crew members will become members of the Expedition 63 crew and perform tests on the Crew Dragon along with research tasks on the space station. The Crew Dragon can stay in orbit for 110 days, but the exact duration of this mission is being determined. The operational Crew Dragon used later will be able to stay in orbit for at least 210 days, per NASA requirements.
When the expedition ends, the Crew Dragon will undock with both astronauts on board and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, splashing down off Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The SpaceX Go Navigator recovery vessel will pick up the Crew Dragon and return to Cape Canaveral. The date of this part of the flight is still being determined.
This is the final step before NASA certifies the Crew Dragon for long-duration missions to the space station.
This is also the first human flight to space from the Kennedy Space Center in nine years, NASA shared.